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W Hamond - The Original Whitby Jet Store

Learn all About Whitby Lighthouses

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the lighthouses in Whitby? In this article, we cover all of the Lighthouses in Whitby so you’ll be even more knowledgeable on your next trip. 

Whitby’s harbour features two iconic and very beautiful Pier Lighthouses. They are a reminder that Whitby was once a very important shipbuilding town, industrial port and even whaling centre. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Whitby was one of the main trading ports on the east coast.

Whitby West Pier Lighthouse

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Whitby West Pier Lighthouse

The taller lighthouse of the two is West Pier Lighthouse, when boats enter the port The West Pier is on their right-hand side. It is made from local sandstone and it was built to a height of 73 feet in 1831. The lighthouse can be operated manually and is now used by local pilots to guide large ships through the pier heads. The 500 ft extensions to these piers were built in 1914. 

Top Of West Pier Lighthouse

During the Summertime and warmer months, you can climb all the way to the top of the West Pier Lighthouse. It costs £1.50 for adults and £1 for children. The lighthouse has 81 steps that wind clockwise and lead you all the way up to the lantern room. You get a wonderful view of Whitby Harbour and the surrounding area from the top.

Whitby West Pier Lighthouse, Ghost Story 

It is said that the West Pier Lighthouse in Whitby is haunted by an innocent worker who was just doing his best to make sure sailors were safe. During a very treacherous night, the lighthouse keeper noticed the light on the West Pier Lighthouse had gone out. He knew that this could be life-threatening for those out at sea and so very bravely, he set off to do his job. He was completely soaked through by the rain and his clothes dripped as he walked up the winding staircase towards the light. He made the steps very slippery and dangerous, but he hadn’t noticed as he was fixed on his job. On his way back down the lighthouse keeper slipped to his death. There are accounts of people witnessing the heroic lighthouse keeper making his journey up the pier towards the lighthouse, even visitors of the lighthouse have even seen the ghostly image of a man laid out on the floor in front of the entrance.

Whitby East Pier Lighthouse

Whitby East Pier Lighthouse 

Built in 1855 and reaching 55 feet high is the East Pier Lighthouse. Though shorter than West Pier it has also been updated and refitted with new lights meaning the lighthouses can continue to guide boats safely. Thanks to the new footbridge that was installed in 2020. You can once again walk the full length of the pier and right up to the beacon.

East Pier Lighthouse

Whitby is one of the only two places on the East Coast where the sun rises and sets in the North Sea. As the harbour mouth here points North it is a fantastic place to witness one of these incredible sunsets. This event happens from late May to late July. 

Whitby High Lighthouse 

Whitby High Lighthouse

Lying Southeast of Whitby town on Ling Hill is the third Lighthouse. Whitby High Lighthouse has been protecting sailors since 1858. The white octagonal brick tower lighthouse was designed by James Walker of civil engineers Messrs. Walker, Burgess & Cooper.

Operated by Trinity House, Whitby High Lighthouse is the remaining half of two towers aligned North-South, they were known as the twin lights of Whitby. The South lighthouse is the one that still remains today. They used to serve as a fixed pair of lights to warn of the dangers of Whitby Rock. Each was initially equipped with paraffin lamps and a pair of single-story keeper’s cottages were attached to each tower.

More efficient lights were replaced in Whitby High Lighthouse in 1890. The North lighthouse was demolished and the fog signalling apparatus took its place. In 1976, Whitby high was electrified and then automated in 1992. However…the keeper’s cottages still stand and are available to rent, what an amazing place to enjoy a holiday or short break! You can book them here.

Have you ever gone to the top of the West Pier Lighthouse? Or do you have any interesting stories about the lighthouses? Maybe you have seen the heroic lighthouse keeper from our story! Let us know in the comments.

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