When you have finished visiting the lighthouse make another short detour by carrying on the path going behind the lighthouse, pass some farms and you will come to some more small lakes which are often frequented by anglers....but I come up here to get a lovely reflection of the lighthouse! I think this is my favourite picture of it too ;-)
The final lighthouse (situated in South Wirral area) is located at Whitby Locks, Ellesmere Port. This light guided boats into the Shropshire Union Canal's dock complex (now the Boat Museum) from the River Mersey. It was designed and built by Thomas Telford, the renowned canal and civil engineer, in 1829. It operated successfully until the Manchester Ship Canal reached Ellesmere Port in 1891. The Ship Canal cut off the direct access to the Mersey at Ellesmere Port (although access locks were built opposite the dock entrance) and the lighthouse became redundant. It is now a listed building and is situated on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal adjacent to the Boat Museum's lower basin.
More pics and info of the boat museum - worth a visit in its own right - can be found on my Ellesmere Port page.
Whilst on the subject of lighthouses here's some info on Bidston lighthouse which replaced the storm swept Lower Leasowe lighthouse.
An Act of Parliament had to be obtained for Bidston lighthouse as it is 2 miles inland. The light was installed in an octagonal stone tower 22 metres high and was built in 1771. This tower was replace by a more modern building in 1872 which was equipped with a powerful"Dioptic" light and last shone 9th October 1913.
More pics and info on my Bidston page.
The promenade, often a popular place for anglers too, leads right up to a lighthouse an fortress in New Brighton. Its a pleasant walk, here we are just passing a small marina (not as large as West Kirby one) with the fortress coming into view. In the distance Liverpool can be seen.
Perch Rock Lighthouse was designed by John Foster and was based on John Smeaton's Eddystone Lighthouse of 1756. The foundation stone was laid on 8th June 1827 and took 3 years to complete. The lamp was of the revolving kind, and first shone on the 1st March 1830. The lamp last shone on the 1st October 1973, a victim of modern navigation technology. The Lighthouse was bought by Mr. Norman Kingham (who also bought the fort) for a nominal sum, on the condition he maintained the building.
It has even been used a s honeymoon suite.
Here the lighthouse can be seen when the tide is in - must be interesting carrrying the bride over the threshold as a ladder is needed to reach up to the first of the 15 iron rungs (when the tide is out too) built in to the side of the tower, these then lead up to the door!
The Lighthouse at New Brighton ( known as the Perch Rock Lighthouse) is situated where the Mersey Estuary opens out into Liverpool Bay. Formerly a wooden perch was built on the rock, a serious navigational hazard, by the city of Liverpool, in 1683. Ships that passed the perch were charged 6old pennies for maintenance costs, which were high in this case, the perch often being washed away by gales.
The modern wind machines in the background make for a great comparison of old and new technology.
New Brighton has only existed as a town since 1830 when James Atherton first laid out the resort that he hoped would rival its southern namesake.
Although it has its tacky fun fairs and tourist tack much improvement has been made and its a pleasure to walk along the parade (promenade) to the lighthouse and fortress, also has a separate cycylist path. A cheery modern sculpture of a peirot greets you upon arrival.
the Fort was decommissioned in 1954 and sold to a private individual. Since then it has passed through several hands and was finally left derelict. In 1976 the vandalise shell was purchased by a Mr. Norman Kingham and the task of restoration commenced.
It is perhaps the most important coastal defense Battery in the North West of England. unique because the fabric still preserves elements of it's constant modifications and improvements and has now Grade 2 star listing.
The Fort and Museum is OPEN all year, from 12.00 noon until dusk, times may alter slightly in the winter months, for further information telephone 0151 630 2707 A tea room is available for tea,coffee and light snacks. Within the tea room there is a large photography collection of the "Blue Funnel" shipping line and old "New Brighton". It is well worth a visit and includes interesting artifacts such as a four seater toilet for those VT members who have to know about loos!
Before New Brighton's birth the area was just a desolate piece of rocky and sandy foreshore and close by was the Rock Channel through which all ships had to pass to enter the Port of Liverpool.The name Perch Rock came from a wooden perch built in the 1690s to warn passing ships of the danger of the sandstone rocks in their proximity.
In times of war this was the ideal place to erect temporary forts and batteries of cannon to protect Liverpool.
With the constant advance of technology the Fort was always modified to incorporate the latest guns
JUst a bit further down the coastal path from Leasowe lighthousse is Leasowe Castle.
Built in 1593 by Ferdinando, the 5th. Earl of Derby. The original octagonal tower was built with an entrance door five and a half feet above ground level - for security and protection against flooding from the high tides. It probably served as a viewing platform for the Wallasey races, the forerunner of the Derby race (famous horse race in England's sporing calendar).
The walls were built three feet in width, and a later owner, possibly William the 6th Earl of Derby constructed four turrets onto the original tower.
Once known as The New Hall it rapidly declined a century after its construction and became known as Mockbeggar Hall, a name commonly given to old ruined manorial halls
The castle has passed through many owners and additions over the years -today is a popular hotel and conference centre.
Ok then lets set off from Meols to New Brighton along the coastal path.
The coastal Park has an ancient history going back some 5000 years when the area was forested, including parts of what is now foreshore. Remains of these trees - known as the submerged forest - can occasionally be seen at Dove Point, Meols, between the slipway and the groyne. Relics of houses inhabited by stone-age people at that time, have been found on the beach. Today you are more likely to see the small boats moored by the slipway. Take care when the tide is in by the slipway - water comes right up here, although the path is relatively clear.
Meols, which means 'sand hills' in Old Norse Viking language, has been an important site from Roman times right up to fairly modern times, probably because it was once the entrance to both the Mersey and the Dee estuaries.
OK couldn't resist another pic of Leasowe lighthouse again...this one with a little reflection!
The lighthouse houses a visitor centre and is the base for the coastal rangers and the focal point for the North Wirral Coastal Park.
Supposedly the oldest survivivg brick built lighthouse in Europe - built in 1763 by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board as one of 4 leading lights. A lower light was washed out to sea and was replaced by the one at Bidston ( more info on that page).The lamp last shone at Leasowe on July 15th 1908, and after a period as a tea room the building remained derelict until 1989. The Last Keeper at Leasowe was a Mrs. Williams, the only known woman lighthouse keeper in her day. Fortunately the lighthouse is currently being restored and is open to the public on the first Sunday of each month 1-4pm.
Here's a view of the front of the lighthouse -must be terrific views of the Dee Estuary from the top. They even have a webcam now so you too can see the view. Just check out the link below.
OK enough detours - we're supposed to be heading for New Brighton :-)
The coastal path and embankment, the sea defence continues past the lighthouse on the way to New Brighton.