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The Heugh Lighthouse

Hartlepool, Durham

Location Guide

Aerial photo by  Marinas.com   (more images are available)

The area to the left that looks like enclosures are the Heugh Gun Battery, a gun fort,
the lighthouse is also standing on a part of this site.

Photo from Geograph

A similar view in colour by Martin Brewster in colour can be seen by clicking here.

Photo from Geograph

The rocky coastline around Hartlepool, on the north east coast of England, has been the cause of many shipwrecks over the centuries. In the 1840's a decision was made to build a lighthouse to warn of the danger.

There have been three lighthouses on the cliff top at Hartlepool. The current one built in 1927.

The first stood from 1846–1915 and was probably the first successful gas lit lighthouse in the world. It was taken down during the First World War because it stood in the way of the guns at Heugh Battery. It was replaced by a temporary light on the nearby Town Moor, which was used until 1927 when the current lighthouse was built, (see more below).

The lighthouse was undamaged by German shelling in early 1915 which claimed the first life on British soil of World War 1. The lighthouse was removed to its present position to allow a better line of fire for the coastal artillery.

Hartlepool’s Heugh Gun Battery,  next to the lighthouse, has been a defence point for centuries, its known that in the 16th century there was a canon placed here, and again in 1650 guns were fired from hear when a frigate attacked a local boat.

Photo by Andrew Curtis

The First Lighthouse

Shown in the Photochrome postcard from probably 1905 to 1910, this is Hartlepool's first lighthouse and said to have existed from 1846 to 1915 and was probably the first successful gas lit lighthouse in the world. It was taken down in 1916, during the First world War, as it got in the way of of the guns at Heugh Battery.

The lantern and lens were then mounted on a temporary square pyramidal frame tower with enclosed watch room, located on the Town Moor behind the guns. The lantern and lens are now on display at the Hartlepool Museum on Maritime Avenue.

Entry to this museum is free and there is free parking as well. It was voted the 'most popular new attraction in England' by the English Tourist Board and winner of the BT North East Award for the 'Favourite Children's Visit', the Museum of Hartlepool is among Britain's top ten free visitor attractions opened since 1994.

The original lighthouse, a 14.5m (46ft) tapered sandstone tower, was the first British lighthouse designed to be fuelled entirely by natural gas from nearby coal mines.

This is a photograph from around 1900-1905

The Heugh and Lighthouse Battery were built side by side on the East Battery site in 1860 along with a third battery further north at Fairy Cove. Great efforts were made to strengthen the crumbling cliffs but to little avail at Fairy Cove where the battery began to topple into the sea a few years later. You can find a full account of how they worked together to defend this part of the coast, particularly during the First World War, in our location page Heugh Gun Battery.  In 1956 all coast guns and the Lighthouse Battery was demolished almost immediately, however the Gun Battery has been restored and now operates as a museum.

Lighthouse information Grid


The Heugh Lighthouse

Current status:

Currently in use

Geographic Position:

54° 41" 48'   -1° 10" 32'    Hartlepool

Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



Round steel tower with lantern and gallery, painted white

Map Link:


Aerial photo:

Marinas.com   Google satellite view

Other photos:

Geograph    photo    Photo    photo

Originally built:


Current lighthouse built:


Height of Tower:

64ft   16.5m

Height of light above mean sea level:

62ft   19m

Character of light:

2 flashes every 10 seconds (24 hours a day)

Character of fog signal:


Range of light:


Owned / run by:

PD Teesport

Getting there:

On the headland known as The Heugh, sheltering Hartlepool Harbour, on the north side of the city.


The site is open.



Other Useful Websites:

Heugh Battery Trust   Hartlepool Museum

Other Relevant pages:

For more articles, lists and other information see the Lighthouses Section

Lighthouse Map of England and Wales

Featured List of Lighthouses - England and Wales  

List of Minor Lighthouses and Lights - England and Wales

Heugh Gun Battery



Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Grid or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Keith Park   Section:  Lighthouses Section Key:
Page Ref: Heugh_the_lighthouse Topic: Lighthouses Last Updated: 06/2010


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