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Tyne South Pier - South Shields, Tyne and Weir

Lighthouse category:  harbour

Position:  55° 0' 40.3" N; 1° 24' 4.0" W

Status:  active

Date:  1895

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  39 feet

Construction: stone

Colour scheme: tower unpainted, lantern white

Focal plane height:  49 feet

Characteristics: 8 seconds on, 2 seconds off.   Displays white over entrance channel, red and green to the sides

Foghorn:  fog bell, stroke every 10 seconds

Google map view:  google map link

The lighthouse on the North Pier is just about tall and slim enough to be described as "elegant", but that is probably not an epithet that would readily spring to mind when contemplating the rather squat lighthouse on the South Pier.  Nevertheless, it is at least the equal of its taller neighbour in terms of its importance in marking the harbour entrance.  The south pier, while still difficult, was neither as difficult to construct nor as long in the building as the North Pier.  Construction commenced in 1856 and, although hampered by gales to some extent, the work was completed in the relatively shorter time of 39 years.  The light is of broadly similar design to that on the North Pier but, at 39 feet high it is some 16 feet shorter, a not inconsiderable factor in its much squatter appearance.  I am not certain about access to the pier.  On my first visit in 2003, the pier was freely accessible but, during a second visit in 2008, the pier was in a state of complete lockdown with a high and firmly locked palisade fence across the landward end.  There appeared to be construction work or some kind going on about half way along the pier and the lockdown may have been necessary because of this work.  The photograph above was taken on neither of these visits but was actually obtained from the water during the course of a river cruise out of Newcastle later in 2003.  The photograph below shows the lighthouse from the landward side and also shows the fact that the lantern is painted half in white and half in red. 

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