Maryport Lighthouse

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Maryport Lighthouse
Old lighthouse, Maryport - - 240182.jpg
Old Maryport Lighthouse
Maryport Lighthouse is located in Cumbria
Maryport Lighthouse
Coordinates54°43′04″N 3°30′38″W / 54.717773°N 3.510693°W / 54.717773; -3.510693Coordinates: 54°43′04″N 3°30′38″W / 54.717773°N 3.510693°W / 54.717773; -3.510693
Year first constructed1796 (first)
1856 (second)
Year first lit1996 (current)
Deactivated1996 (second)
Foundation1-storey stone octagonal prism basement (second)
Constructioncast iron tower (second)
aluminium tower (current)
Tower shapetwo-stage octagonal tower with lantern (second)
square tower with light (current)
Markings / patternunpaited basement, white tower, black lantern (second)
white tower (current)
Tower height11 metres (36 ft) (second)
6 metres (20 ft) (current)
Focal height10 metres (33 ft) (current)
Light sourcemains power
CharacteristicFl W 15s.
Admiralty numberA4676
NGA number4860
ARLHS numberENG-080
Managing agentMaryport Harbour and Marina [1] [2]
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata

Maryport Lighthouse is a small lighthouse located in Maryport, Cumbria, England, formerly run by the UK's General Lighthouse Authority, Trinity House. It is a Grade II listed building.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5] 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).[6] It is 36 feet (11 m) high and consists of an octagonal metal plinth, column and lantern on top of a rusticated stone base.[3] It was originally gas-lit.[7]

Subsequently, the harbour continued to expand. In 1852, following a storm, the south pier (on which the lighthouse stands) was extended,[8] 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).[7] In 1858 the Harbour Trustees commissioned James Chance to manufacture a small (fourth-order) fixed optic for the lighthouse, [9] which gave the tidal light a range of 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi).[10] 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.[7]

20th century[edit]

The new light at the end of the pier extension

By 1946 the light was powered by acetylene. The painter L. S. Lowry used Maryport and the lighthouse in several of his paintings.[11] 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.[4] 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.

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]

See also[edit]


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