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Hale Head Lighthouse.<

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Hale Head lies just to the south of Liverpool Airport and is the most southerly point of Lancashire. The Upper Mersey Navigation commences just above Garston Docks and the lighting of the channel above Garston was commenced by the Bridgewater Trustees in 1838, first with the laying down of buoys and then with the construction of three lighthouses.

The first lighthouse was established here in 1838 when land was leased from the Blackburne family in Hale Hall. A short square timber tower supporting a hexagonal lantern containing oil lamps was constructed adjacent to a small cottage which had previously been used as a bathing hut, but was now converted into a house for use by the lighthouse keeper and his family.

On 1st January 1877 the Upper Mersey Navigation Commission came into being and took over responsibility for the Garston, Hale Head, Ince lighthouses.

In 1905 petitions were received from shipmasters stating that the light was inefficient and request for the height of the tower to be increased along with an improved light were made. A survey of the old tower was carried out and the report described it as "Insecure around the base which is gradually putting it out of the perpendicular, and repairs or renovations will shortly be necessary".

The Commissioners decided that a new tower would be the best alternative to carrying out renovations to align the ailing wooden tower, so a lease for a further 99 years was negotiated from the landowner Colonel Blackburne, and in 1906 a circular stone tower 50 feet high was constructed. It exhibited a fixed white light visible for 7 miles and in 1929 a red sector was added. The fog signal was a bell struck four times every 30 seconds during foggy conditions.

During the 1939 to 1945 war it was machine gunned by enemy aircraft but with the gradual loss of trade to the Upper Reaches of the Mersey and the silting up of the river, the light was discontinued. On 1st April 1958, after 120 years of service, the light was finally extinguished and the property was sold to become a private residence.

The photos from left to right show the old and new light together after completion; then the new light and as it is today.


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