In 1778, a project to build a lighthouse was presented by a marine engineer called Joaquín de Ibarguen. But the construction of the lighthouse was not approved until 1833, built to an original design by the ship’s captain, Felipe Bauzá and the final version by Domingo Rojí. The cost, 460,000 “reales”, was met by the Junta de Comercio de la Provincia, who set a tax of one “real” per ton on all Spanish ships entering the ports of Santander and Bilbao and of two “reales” on foreign ships

The new lighthouse was built on the site known as the Cabo Mayor observation point, where, from ancient times, signals had been sent to ships, using flags during the day and fires at night. It was turned on for the first time on the night of 15th August 1839.

The living space in the base of the tower was greatly reduced by the installation of electronic devices, a foghorn and other technical equipment, so that an annex was built in 1935 to accommodate the lighthouse keepers.