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The Heugh - The Headland, Hartlepool, Cleveland

Lighthouse category:  coastal

Position:  54° 41' 35.9" N : 1° 11' 5.6" W

Status:  active

Date:  1927 (original light 1847)

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  54 feet

Construction: tapering steel tower of circular cross section with lantern and gallery

Colour scheme:  white with black base

Focal plane height:  62 feet

Characteristics:  two white flashes every 10 seconds

Foghorn:  none

Google map view:  google map link

There has been a lighthouse on the Headland at Hartlepool since at least 1847 and the somewhat "homely" appearance of the present light belies the fact that the site has been the scene, in its day, of considerable, innovation, dismantling, rebuilding, and not a little excitement.  The original lighthouse was a stone tower that was, allegedly, the first lighthouse to be reliably lit by coal gas, and that remained operational until 1915.  On 16 Dec 1914 Hartlepool was shelled in an infamous raid by the German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Moltke and the armoured cruiser Blücher.  The lighthouse was undamaged in this attack but in the post raid "wash up" it was noted that it had interfered with the arcs of the two six inch, coast defence guns in the Heugh Battery that lies just to the north of the present light.  The original lighthouse was therefore dismantled in 1915 and was replaced by a temporary tower sighted on the Town Moor just behind the battery.  Later, in 1926, the temporary light was, in its turn dismantled and replaced by the present lighthouse which, unsurprisingly given its ancestry, is designed to be dismantled in an emergency.  Although this has never been done, some sources state that it was considered during World War 2 when the government became concerned that the lighthouse might be used as a landmark by the Germans.  Although it never was dismantled, the light was blacked out for the duration of the war.  As an aside,  the Heugh Battery has been restored and is now under the care of the Heugh Gun Battery Trust who also use it to house a general artillery collection.  The Heugh Gun Battery Trust website can be found here.  Access to the site presents no problem with ample parking close by.  The light presents few problems either as it is possible to walk freely right round the tower.  The only real photographic problem is that the site is particularly cluttered with radio masts, ancillary buildings and is surrounded by a somewhat ugly pallisade style fence.  Photography through the gaps in the fence is entirely possible but a wide angle lens will be necessary to ensure that the full height of the tower can be included in the image.

The photograph below shows the lantern with light just starting to flash. 

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