Maryport Lighthouse

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Maryport Lighthouses
LocationMaryport, United Kingdom Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates54°43′04″N 3°30′38″W / 54.71777°N 3.51069°W / 54.71777; -3.51069
Maryport Old Lighthouse Edit this at Wikidata
Old lighthouse, Maryport - - 240182.jpg
Constructed1846 Edit this on Wikidata
Foundation1-storey stone octagonal prism basement
Constructioncast iron (tower) Edit this on Wikidata
Height11 m (36 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapetwo-stage octagonal tower with lantern
Markingsunpainted (foundation), white (tower), black (lantern) Edit this on Wikidata
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata
Deactivated1996 Edit this on Wikidata
Maryport New Lighthouse Edit this at Wikidata
Maryport Lighthouse - panoramio.jpg
The new light at the end of the pier extension
Constructed1996 Edit this on Wikidata
Constructionaluminium (tower) Edit this on Wikidata
Height4.7 m (15 ft), 6 m (20 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapesquare Edit this on Wikidata
Markingswhite (tower), black (foundation) Edit this on Wikidata
Power sourcemains electricity Edit this on Wikidata
OperatorTrinity House (–2010), Maryport Harbour Authority (2010–) Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1996 Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height10 m (33 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Intensity120 candela Edit this on Wikidata
Range6 nmi (11 km; 6.9 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl W 1.5s Edit this on Wikidata

Maryport Lighthouse is a small lighthouse located in Maryport, Cumbria, England, formerly run by England's general lighthouse authority, Trinity House. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]

18th century[edit]

Maryport is said to have possessed a small lighthouse in 1796; five years later Robert Stevenson described it in a report as an oil lamp with two reflectors.[2]

19th century[edit]

In 1833 an Act of Parliament granted permission for a dock to be built at Maryport together with a new pier and lighthouse. Construction was overseen by a new board of trustees and the pier, complete with its lighthouse, was in place by 1846.[3] Both remain in situ and the light is said to be the UK's oldest cast iron lighthouse (though it no longer serves as a navigation light).[4] It is 36 feet (11 m) high and consists of an octagonal metal plinth, column and lantern on top of a rusticated stone base.[1] It was originally gas-lit.[5]

Subsequently, the harbour continued to expand. In 1852, following a storm, the south pier (on which the lighthouse stands) was extended,[6] and a new light was provided at the end of the pier extension (described as a lantern on a post, lit by three gas jets) with a range of 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi). The lighthouse thereafter served as a tidal light, being lit at night only for as long as there was 8 ft (2.4 m) of water within the harbour; (during the day it exhibited a red spherical day mark to signify the same).[5] In 1858 the Harbour Trustees commissioned James Chance to manufacture a small (fourth-order) fixed optic for the lighthouse,[7] which gave the tidal light a range of 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi).[8] The previous year, following completion of the Elizabeth Dock, additional (minor) lights had been installed on the north tongue and south jetty, within the harbour, coloured green and red respectively.[5]

20th century[edit]

By 1946 the light was powered by acetylene. The painter L. S. Lowry used Maryport and the lighthouse in several of his paintings.[9] Trinity House took charge of it in 1961.

In 1996 Trinity House provided a new aluminium tower (54°43′04″N 3°30′39″W / 54.7178°N 3.5107°W / 54.7178; -3.5107 (New Maryport Lighthouse, Cumbria)) for the end of the pier extension, lit by mains electricity.[2] At 4.7 metres tall and with a light intensity of only 120 candelas, the new tower was one of Trinity House's smaller beacons; it displays a flashing white light visible 6 nmi (6.9 mi) out to sea.[10][11]

21st century[edit]

In 2010 Trinity House transferred responsibility for the new light to the Maryport Harbour Authority.[12] The old lighthouse was restored and repainted in 2017 as part of a government-funded initiative for the refurbishment of seaside towns.[13] Maryport Lighthouse was recognised during the 370th Council Meeting of the Round Table of Britain and Ireland

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Lighthouse, The Harbour, Maryport, Cumbria". Historic England. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Woodman, Richard; Wilson, Jane (2002). The Lighthouses of Trinity House. Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts.: Thomas Reed. p. 244.
  3. ^ Rennison, R. W. (1981). Civil Engineering Heritage: Northern England (2nd ed.). London: Thomas Telford Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 07277 2518 1.
  4. ^ A page containing interesting facts about lighthouses worldwide Archived 13 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". p. 346.
  6. ^ "Maryport Conservation Area Character Appraisal" (PDF). Allerdale Borough Council. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  7. ^ Chance, James Frederick (1902). The Lighthouse Work of Sir James Chance, Baronet (PDF). London: Smith, Elder & co. p. 166. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  8. ^ Davenport Adams, W. H. (1870). Lighthouses and Lightships: A Descriptive and Historical Account of Their Mode of Construction and Organization. London: T. Nelson & Sons. p. 303.
  9. ^ A history of Maryport
  10. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Northwest England". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  11. ^ Mariport light Lighthouse Explorer. Retrieved 2 May 2016
  12. ^ Trinity House annual report 2010 Archived 4 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Maryport Lighthouse restoration unveiled". ITV News. Retrieved 1 June 2019.

External links[edit]