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Herd Sand Lighthouse.

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Herd Sand Groyne lighthouse is situated on the eastern end of Herd Groyne, on the south side of the harbour at South Shields to mark the entrance of the narrow part of the fairway.

It was built in 1880 at a cost of £ 3,500 to the order of Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne by Messrs. Hawks, Crawsay & Co to the design of P.J.Messent, civil engineer. It proved an awkward operation as it was extremely difficult to secure a firm foundation for the structure and eventually sinking a concrete raft and building the lighthouse on legs solved the problem.

The lighthouse is a red painted iron structure, 48 feet high. It consists of four iron inverted tripod legs with a metal external ladder giving access to the living quarters. The living accommodation consists of a hexagonal wooden hut clad with corrugated iron and supports a white painted iron gallery on which is placed the lantern room. The lantern room is a smaller version of the living accommodation being constructed in exactly the same manner and in addition has the window light.

The whole structure is capped with flattened dome roof bearing the customary weather vane.

It first exhibited a light on 30th October 1882 and has an occulting light every 10 seconds, with a red and white lantern, elevated 43 feet and visible 7 miles in clear weather. Initially there was no need to attach a fog warning apparatus as during foggy weather a bell fixed to the lighthouse at the end of the south pier was struck by machinery at intervals of 30 seconds but today the bell behind the white railings tolls out a warning once in every five seconds during fogy conditions.


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