The Corporation of Trinity House is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters (with the exception of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland).
It is responsible for the provision and maintenance of navigational aids such as lighthouses, lightvessels, buoys and maritime radio / satellite communication systems. Trinity House is also the official Deep Sea Pilotage Authority providing expert navigators for ships trading in Northern European waters.
Contrary to popular belief Trinity House is not (and never has been) part of HM Coastguard although it does work closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
For many years, Trinity House depots were maintained in Harwich, Great Yarmouth, Penzance, Swansea, Cowes and on the Thames (closed some time ago). In December 2002 it was announced that the Great Yarmouth, Penzance and Cowes depots would close, leaving only Harwich and Swansea remaining, plus the two large tenders Patricia and Mermaid.