Aerial photo by Marinas.com (more images are available)
The area to the left
that looks like enclosures are the
Gun Battery, a gun fort,
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.
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