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A petition was signed on 5th June 1883 by numerous merchants and shippers requesting the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House, London to erect a lighthouse on the eastern point of Salt Scar Rocks, at Redcar.
The petition did not fall on deaf ears and a breakwater was built with the purpose of ‘improving and protecting the navigation of the River Tees, and affording shelter and refuge to shipping of the north east coast’. A tramway was used to bring nearly 5 million tonnes of ironwork slag from the local steel works for its construction.
A lighthouse was designed by John Fowler, the engineer to the Tees Conservancy Commissioners, and was constructed in 1884 of cast iron with a copper dome and sprouted a chimney and weather vane. It stands on a concrete base that has an entrance door and is a total of 52 feet high.
When working the light had a range of 20 miles. During one violent storm the force of a tremendous wave smashed the thick glass of the lighthouse. The breakwater takes a continuous pounding from the rough sea and concrete blocks are constantly being placed around it to prevent erosion.
It is now a Grade II listed building and owned by the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority. The chimney and weather vane were removed in 1980.