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Wyre Light, Fleetwood
River Wyre navigation channel, Fleetwood, Lancashire
Wyre Light, Fleetwood
associated engineer
Captain H.M. Denham
date  1839 - 1840
era  Victorian  |  category  Lighthouse  |  reference  SD325513
ICE reference number  HEW 249
photo  Paul Dunkerley
Wyre Light was the first beacon in the world to come into service founded offshore on cast iron screw piles. It stands on sandbanks approximately two miles off the town of Fleetwood marking the position where the Lune Deep joins the navigation channel of the River Wyre.
The original name of the light was Port Fleetwood Lighthouse. The sandbanks it stands on are exposed only at low tide and are known as North Wharf. The light is one of three that guide boats into Fleetwood, the other two are onshore — the Pharos and the Beach Lighthouse.
To build the lower part of the light, earth and stones were deposited on the sand to a thickness of several feet before the seven wrought iron piles were installed. These are 16ft long and have cast iron screw bases, 3ft in diameter. The six corner piles are set at an inclination of 1 in 5 and the centre one is vertical. They form a 50ft diameter hexagon in plan. Installation of the piles started in late 1839.
A superstructure supporting the lantern and a two storey building to house the keeper were then built, though these were later destoyed by fire and not replaced. Originally, seven timber baulks (beams at an angle) supported the superstructure, six 48ft ones on the outside and a 57ft one in the centre. The lantern was 45ft above half-tide level. It was first lit on 6th June 1840.
After the fire, the beacon was made automatic. The lighthouse was taken out of service and replaced by a lighted buoy in 1979 and has been derelict ever since.
Maplin Sand Lighthouse was also built on cast iron screw piles — installed in 1838 — but its superstructure was not begun until after the Wyre Light came into service.
Contractor: Alexander Mitchell & Son, Belfast
bibliography
"Sailing Directions from Port Lynas to Liverpool..."
by H.M. Denham
Mawdsley, Liverpool, 1840
"The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway"
by J.Marshall
David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1969, vol.1 81ff
"Docks", July 1974, Part 4
reference sources   CEH North
Location

Wyre Light, Fleetwood