In February 1822, John Fuller witnessed the grounding near Eastbourne of the East Indiaman Thames that resulted in the loss of six lives. Fuller subsequently added his money and political influence to boost a petition to build a lighthouse at Beachy Head that had been ignored by the lighthouse authority for over a century.
In 1828, Fuller paid for a wooden lighthouse to be built on top of the cliffs. This was subsequently replaced by a granite and limestone structure that Fuller did not live to see completed. The name Belle Tout was taken from the highpoint on which the lighthouse stands. It is not actually French, but is derived from the Celtic words 'Bael' (God of War) and 'Tout' (Lookout).
Also in 1828, Fuller paid for the construction and establishment of the first lifeboat service in Eastbourne. The first vessel, measuring 25 feet, had a rose carved on its bow and was credited with the saving of 55 lives.
Belle Tout lighthouse remained in service until 1902, when it was replaced by the circular granite tower at the base of the cliffs around a mile to the east. Part of the reason for this was that it was difficult to see the light from below or in thick fog.
Belle Tout has become a well-known landmark on the Sussex coast. The lighthouse has appeared in a number of productions, including the James Bond movie The Living Daylights. In 1999 the entire building was moved 17 metres back from the cliff edge, as coastal erosion had placed it in danger of collapsing into the sea.
Wikipedia - Belle Tout lighthouse
John "Mad Jack" Fuller
SCABAL - Belle Tout lighthouse