Seaton Carew Lighthouse

The Seaton Carew lighthouses were a pair of leading light towers built in Seaton Carew to guide ships into the River Tees. The low light was demolished over a century ago and what remained of the high light has been rebuilt in Hartlepool Marina.[1]

Seaton Carew lighthouse
Hartlepool Marina - - 1260691.jpg
The surviving stone column of Seaton High Light, re-erected at Hartlepool Marina
LocationHartlepool, County Durham, England
Coordinates54°41′30″N 1°12′08″W / 54.691531°N 1.202151°W / 54.691531; -1.202151Coordinates: 54°41′30″N 1°12′08″W / 54.691531°N 1.202151°W / 54.691531; -1.202151
Constructionashlar sandstone tower
Height19 metres (62 ft)
Shapecylindrical tower with lantern removed
Markingsunpainted tower
OperatorTees Navigation Company (–1892) Edit this on Wikidata
HeritageHigh light: Grade II listed building
Characteristichigh light: F W (not in use)
low light: F R (not in use)

Under increasing commercial pressure from the docks at West Hartlepool the Tees Navigation Company decided to improve access to the River Tees by providing a pair of leading lighthouses (navigation light towers) on the coast at Seaton Carew. These were not the first lighthouses in Seaton Carew as there is evidence of an earlier lighthouse in the 15th century.[2]

Seaton Carew Low LightEdit

The Low Light was on what is now Coronation Drive on the sea front at the junction with Lawson Road.[3] The Low Light was a 70 feet (21 m) tall hexagonal tower with the base at a height of 34 feet (10 m) above mean high tide[4] and exhibited a fixed red light.[3][5] The Hartlepool steel works of South Durham Steel and Iron Company was built to the north of Seaton Carew low light. In a Board of Trade report into the grounding of the Vine in January 1877 off the mouth of the Tees it was claimed that the glow from the furnaces of the nearby steel plant may have been mistaken for the red low light.[6]

Seaton Carew High LightEdit

The High Light and cottages were 1,189 yards (1,087 m) inland to the west at the end of Windermere Road in what is now the Longhill Industrial Estate in Hartlepool north of Tees Bay Retail Park.[3] The High Light was a 70 feet (21 m) tall Tuscan column of ashlar sandstone built in 1838[7] with the base at a height of 89 feet (27 m) above mean high tide.[4] The High Light contained a newel helical stair lit by slit windows between the masonry blocks.[7] The High Light also known as the Longhill Lighthouse,[8] exhibited a fixed white light.[3][5]

Deactivation and relocationEdit

Seaton Tower, Hartlepool Marina

In 1884 a new lighthouse was built on the breakwater at the newly constructed South Gare[9] on the south bank at the mouth of the River Tees. Both light systems were used until 1892 when use of the light towers at Seaton Carew and Hartlepool was discontinued by the Tees Conservancy Commissioners.[10] The low light was probably demolished a decade later in 1902 to make way for a coastal tramway and road from Hartlepool.[11] The prospect of this demolition may have prompted local artist Thomas Grainger to create a painting of the lighthouse before it disappeared.[12]

By 1985 although the High Light tower was disused and dilapidated and had lost its gallery, it was given grade II listed building status.[7] In 1995 the tower now known as Seaton Tower, was moved by the Teesside Development Corporation to the recently regenerated Hartlepool Marina at Jackson's Landing to become a focal point, and in 1997 it was dedicated as a memorial to those who have lost their lives at sea.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Northeastern England". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Access to Archives". The National Archives. 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "Seaton Carew Lighthouse". Lighthouse Compendium. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Bartholomew Gazetteer entry for Seaton Carew". Vision of Britain. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Vine (S.S.)" (PDF). Portcities Southampton. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  6. ^ UK Board of Trade (1877). "Wreck Report for 'Vine'" (PDF). PortCities Southampton. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Seaton High Light in Grounds of Vulcan Materials United Kingdom Limited". British Listed Buildings. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Place:Hartlepool Registration District, 1891 Census Street Index J-L". Your Archives. 2010. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  9. ^ "South Gare Lighthouse Hydrogen Fuel Cell Beams Brightly". New England Lighthouse Treasures. 2007. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  10. ^ "The London Gazette, 19 July 1892" (PDF). The London Gazette. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  11. ^ Gould, Peter. "West Hartlepool Corporation Transport: 1912–1967". Local Transport Histories. Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Can anyone put Paul in the picture?". Hartlepool Mail. 31 January 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2009.; "Seaton Carew Lighthouse". Thumbrella – Words to a Void. 3 October 2007. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  13. ^ "Memorial: Harbour Light 1914–18". North East War Memorials Project. 2006. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2012.

External linksEdit

Seaton Carew Low Light historic images: