Ancient Monuments

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Old quay and old quay lighthouse

A Scheduled Monument in Whitehaven, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5502 / 54°33'0"N

Longitude: -3.5942 / 3°35'39"W

OS Eastings: 296980.999397

OS Northings: 518386.731515

OS Grid: NX969183

Mapcode National: GBR 3HBT.NN

Mapcode Global: WH5Z1.RWNM

Entry Name: Old quay and old quay lighthouse

Scheduled Date: 30 May 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004593

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 492

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Whitehaven

Built-Up Area: Whitehaven

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Whitehaven St James

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Old Quay and Old Quay Lighthouse, 170m ENE of Kiln.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 March 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a quay and an associated lighthouse of post-medieval date, situated within the harbour at Whitehaven. The lighthouse is a circular structure standing nearly 12m tall and constructed from stone masonry with a brick-faced oriel window on its north west side. The lighthouse has a doorway on its north east side, a sundial on its south east side and has an internal spiral staircase. An inscription on the sundial records its date of construction as 1730, but some parts of the lighthouse are earlier and the structure itself was brought onto the quay to its current position in 1767. The quay, which was constructed 1687 with later additions, is built mainly from sandstone; it is topped by a cobbled walkway and at low tide stand to a height of about 6m. The quay and the lighthouse are both listed buildings Grade II.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Quays are structures designed to provide sheltered landing places with sufficient depth of water alongside to accommodate vessels over part of the tidal circle. The features and complexity of quays vary enormously depending partly on their date but also on their situation and exposure, the nature of the underlying geology and alluvium, and the volume and types of trade they need to handle. By their nature, quays also tend to occur in proximity to centres of trade and administrative authority, usually in locations already sheltered to some extent by natural features. Basic elements of quays may include platforms built up and out along a part of the coast or riverside that is naturally deep or artificially dredged, or along an artificial cut forming a small dock on a riverside or coast. They comprise valuable sources of information on patterns of earlier trade, authority and settlement: their development shows clearly the relationship between economic forces and technological development in adapting the natural landscape to communities' needs. All medieval quays that are disused and survive substantially intact as upstanding monuments are nationally important. Disused post-medieval examples surviving substantially intact and forming distinctive indicators of pre-19th century trades and activities are also considered likely to be of national importance.

The Old Quay and Old Quay Lighthouse is well-preserved and is representative of its period. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and alteration. The monument provides insight into the development of the industrial revolution and the importance relationship between mining and waterborne transport.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 8483

Source: Historic England

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