Beacons lit across the West Country to celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

The Salisbury Plain Military Wives' Choir sing in front of the Stonehenge beacon. Credit: English Heritage

Beacons lit up the skies across the West Country last night to celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee. They marked the close of the first day of festivities to celebrate 70 years of The Queen's reign.

Thousands of people turned out to watch beacons lit at the West's best-known landmarks including Pentillie Castle in Cornwall, Exeter Quay in Devon, Badminton House in Gloucestershire, Glastonbury Tor in Somerset and Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Cabot Tower in Bristol was lit with lights rather than fire, forming a 'sustainable' beacon.

A beacon on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. Credit: St Mary's Lifeboat / RNLI

The Queen began the ceremony at Windsor Castle by touching a globe representing the Commonwealth nations, symbolically sending a chain of lights from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace. Around 3500 beacons were then lit nationwide at 9:45pm.

Cabot Tower in Bristol was lit up with lights rather than fire. Credit: Roger Bristol Photographer

The UK has a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark royal jubilees, weddings and coronations.

In 1897, they were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, while the Queen has had them for her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002 and 2012, as well as for her 90th birthday in 2016.