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WYRE LIGHT

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Wyre Light is located on North Wharf sandbank approximately two miles offshore from Fleetwood and marks the position where the navigational channel of the River Wyre joins the Lune Deep. The original light was designed by Captain H. M. Denham (1800-87) who rose to the position of Admiral in the Royal Navy and was later known for his survey work around the south-west Pacific. Construction began in 1839 and was undertaken by Alexander Mitchell and Son of Belfast utilising a screw pile construction he had developed during construction of the Maplin Sand lighthouse in the Thames estuary in 1838. The Wyre Light was first lit in 1840. It was originally named the Port Fleetwood Lighthouse and is thought to have been the first beacon in the world to come into service founded offshore on cast iron screw piles. The beacon formed one of three relatively contemporary lighthouses built to guide shipping into Fleetwood. The other two lighthouses (see HOB UID 39418 and HOB UID 39416) are located onshore and Denham worked with the architect Decimus Burton in the design of both of these. When first constructed the Wyre Light consisted of wrought iron piles supporting a timber superstructure upon which stood the lantern and a two-storey building for housing the keeper, however, these were destroyed by fire in 1948 and not replaced. After the fire the beacon was made automatic. It was taken out of service and replaced by a lighted buoy in 1979 and has been derelict ever since.

The remains of the Wyre Light comprises seven wrought iron piles 4.9m long with cast iron screw bases 0.91m in diameter which were driven into a bed of earth and stones deposited on the sandbank. The six corner piles are set at an inclination of 1 in 5 and are connected to each other by tie bars. The centre pile is vertical. The piles form a hexagon about 15 metres in diameter and support a timber structure bearing the now redundant mid-20th century light which sits about 14 metres above half-tide level.

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