Pharos Lighthouse, Fleetwood

The Pharos Lighthouse (also known as the Upper Lighthouse) is a 93-foot (28 m) tall Runcorn red sandstone lighthouse situated in Fleetwood, Lancashire, England.[1] The lighthouse was designed in 1839 by Decimus Burton and Capt H.M. Denham.[2] Burton has been commissioned three years previously by Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood as the architect of the new town of Fleetwood. Construction was completed in 1840.[3] Unusually for a functioning British lighthouse, it stands in the middle of a residential street (Pharos Street). Though officially named the 'Upper Lighthouse', it has been known as the 'Pharos' since its construction, after the celebrated ancient lighthouse Pharos of Alexandria.

Pharos Lighthouse
Pharos Lighthouse, Fleetwood
OS gridSD3393748289
Coordinates53°55′36″N 3°00′27″W / 53.926530°N 3.007511°W / 53.926530; -3.007511Coordinates: 53°55′36″N 3°00′27″W / 53.926530°N 3.007511°W / 53.926530; -3.007511
Constructionsandstone tower
Height27 metres (89 ft)
Shapetapered cylindrical tower with balcony, lantern and dome
Markingsunpainted tower, white balcony rail
OperatorPort of Fleetwood
HeritageGrade II listed building Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height28 metres (92 ft)
Range12 nautical miles (22 km)
CharacteristicFl G 4s. visible only on the range line
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameUpper Lighthouse or Pharos
Designated31 March 1978
Reference no.1072397

The lighthouse was designed and constructed in conjunction with the much shorter (34 feet (10 m)) Lower Lighthouse (also known as Beach Lighthouse) which stands on Fleetwood sea front. The lighthouses are designed to be used as a pair to guide shipping through the treacherous sandbanks of the Wyre estuary. The light from the Pharos should be kept immediately above the light from the Lower for safe passage down the channel. Both lighthouses were first illuminated on 1 December 1840. Each was run off the town's gas supply, with a single parabolic reflector placed behind the burner;[4] later they were converted to electricity.[5] The lamp is approximately 104 feet (32 m) above sea level,[2] giving a range of about 12 nautical miles (22 km).

For many years, the lighthouse was painted a striking cream and red colour, but in the late 1970s, the original sandstone was again exposed. The Fleetwood terminal loop of the Blackpool tramway runs past the foot of the lighthouse. The lighthouse is managed by the Port of Fleetwood. The interior is closed to the general public.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Radcliffe, Joan. Fleetwood’s Three Lighthouses. Fleetwood Civic Society.
  2. ^ a b Hartwell & Pevsner (2009), p. 296
  3. ^ Historic England. "Upper Lighthouse or Pharos (1072397)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Lighthouse management : the report of the Royal Commissioners on Lights, Buoys, and Beacons, 1861, examined and refuted Vol. 2". p. 306.
  5. ^ "Pharos, Fleetwood". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved 25 August 2019.

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