Ancient Monuments

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Hodbarrow Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Millom, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.1941 / 54°11'38"N

Longitude: -3.2583 / 3°15'29"W

OS Eastings: 317999.870597

OS Northings: 478326.435

OS Grid: SD179783

Mapcode National: GBR 5MPY.D8

Mapcode Global: WH722.XVL2

Entry Name: Hodbarrow Beacon

Scheduled Date: 8 July 1974

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007097

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 424

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Millom

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Millom

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Lighthouse, 380m north west of Hodbarrow Point.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 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 the remains of a lighthouse of 19th century date, situated on a rise overlooking the sea and the Duddon Estuary. The lighthouse, known as Hodbarrow Beacon, is constructed from stone and includes a circular tower built on a stepped stone plinth with nine courses. There is a round-headed window on the west side of the tower and a cast iron balcony around the lighthouse at the level of the beacon. On the east side of the tower is a round-headed door leading to a spiral, red sandstone staircase. The lighthouse was built to aid ships taking ore from the harbour of the Hodbarrow mine, which mined the largest haematite ore body in Britain. The mine was opened in 1856 and ceased operations in 1968. The lighthouse was built in the 1870s and represents one of the last remaining structures of the Hodbarrow Mine.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Lighthouses have been used to aid shipping around Britain since Roman times, although only two of that date have been recognised. In the late Middle Ages (AD 1066-1540), lights were simple structures, usually a fire in an iron basket, or in a stone bowl called a cresset, placed on church towers. True lighthouses in purpose-built towers began to be built by the early 17th century. They were first fuelled by coal or wood, but oil lamps were in use from the 1780s, to be replaced later by gas or electric lamps. Other technological improvements were made during the 19th century, including the introduction of light reflectors, flashing lights, identification patterns and sound signals for fog. Over the same period, tower design was improved, including the provision of staff accommodation. Lighthouses are found around the whole coast of Britain and, since 1698, on offshore rocks and reefs. Numbers varied over time, and many were short-lived or frequently replaced. Lighthouses were relatively rare until the 17th century, relying on local or private initiatives. Few medieval examples survive in recognisable form. From 1676, Trinity House, which had been first established with limited duties in 1514, began to build lighthouses itself rather than merely licensing their use by others. In c.1875, around 100 major lighthouses existed, supported by many minor lights and lightships. By the 1970s Trinity House still maintained 90 major lights, with 30 manned light- vessels and c.700 light-buoys. A number of private lights also existed. All surviving Roman and medieval lighthouses and lights are nationally important. Post-medieval examples retaining early fabric or fittings to a significant extent are also considered likely to be of national importance.

The lighthouse 380m north west of Hodbarrow Point is upstanding and is well-preserved. The monument is one of the last surviving structures of the Hodbarrow Mine, which once shipped its ore as far as Germany. The monument and the remains of the mine provide insight into the industrialisation of the ore mining process and the importance of haematite to the iron working industry of the Lake District.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 37183

Source: Historic England

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