Home Newsletter Locations Diary
Topic Alpha County Sections By

Travellers Resource
Lighthouse Section Lighthouse Index . England & Wales Scotland Ireland Isle of Man Channel Isles


England & Wales Scotland Ireland

Withernsea Lighthouse Museum

Withernsea, Yorkshire

Featured Location Guide

Withernsea Lighthouse is an inland lighthouse that stands in the middle of the town of Withernsea in Yorkshire.

The lighthouse stands 127ft or 38m high and took 18 months to build between 1892 and 1894.

It is no longer active as a lighthouse, the light having been switched off on 1st of July 1976, and is now used as a museum.

Prior to this being built there had been a high number of shipwrecks at Withernsea, as vessels couldn't see the lights at either Spurn Head or Flamborough.

It was built a quarter of a mile back from the coast, when the lighthouse was built there were only sand dunes and a mere in front of it. Today much of the town is closer to the sea than the lighthouse. These buildings were put up after the promenade was extended along the sea front.

The octagonal lighthouse was not designed to be lived in. The tower has no dividing floors only the spiral staircase leading to the Service and Lamp Rooms at the top.

Attached to it are two cottages, these were the lighthouse keepersí homes and now they contain a museum with displays about the lighthouse and town.

This also features RNLI and HM Coastguard exhibits, with models and old photographs. These record the history of shipwrecks in the area and detail the Withernsea lifeboats and crews who saved 87 lives between 1862 and 1913. It also depicts the history of the near by Spurn lifeboats.

The local history room has Victorian and Edwardian photos of the town including the pier and railway.

The museum was started in 1989 by the Campbell family to house mementos of Kay Kendall, a family member.

Kay Kendall (1926-59) was a 1950's film star, who was born in the town. She died of leukaemia.

See Larger Image

Photo of Kay Kendal
From Flickr

After climbing the 144 steps there are great views from the lamp room.

The original light was an 8 wick paraffin lamp, housed within an octagonal revolving lens. The lens itself weighed 2 tons and floated in a trough of 3 gallons of mercury.

The controlling mechanism that turned the lens required winding daily by hand.

In 1936 the light was electrified and the paraffin lamp was replaced by a 100 volt, 1500 watt bulb, equivalent to 800,000 candle power. In the event that the first bulb failed, a second was on standby which was also backed up by a third which would be lit by a bank of 26 rechargeable batteries. There was also a standby generator.

If all else failed the old paraffin lamp was kept as a reserve.

So nothing had been let to chance, and the light would be kept shinning.

In 1936 when electrified it had a range of 17 miles.

The lighthouse continued to shine it's beam until the 1st of July 1976,  so was in use for 82 years.

Photo by Gordon Hatton

Photo by  Malcolm Dandilands

Photo by J Thomas

Postcard view of the lighthouse at some point in the past, probably 1920's or early 30's.

Image from Camera Images GBPictures archive.

Photo by John Poyser

The top of the lighthouse is accessed via, these steps running up the inside of the hollow building, when partway up, the tower narrows, all you can see is straight down. Once at the top there are superb distant views.

At The top Photo Stephen McKay

Photo Stephen McKay   Now just the climb back down!!

After closure the lens from this lighthouse went to St Mary's Lighthouse,  in Northumberland where it can still be seen, St Mary's was also later closed and is now also open as a tourist attraction.

Lighthouse information Grid


Withernsea Lighthouse Museum, Yorkshire

Current status:

Lighthouse is NOT in use, last used 1st July 1976
Open to visitors - see below

Geographic Position:


Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



Tall white tower

Map Link:

Multimap     Get-a-map

Aerial photo:

Multimap     Google satellite view

Other photos:

Images of England     Geograph

Originally built:


Current lighthouse built:


Height of Tower:

127ft    39m

Height of light above mean sea level:


Character of light:

No light now

Character of fog signal:


Range of light:

was 17 miles

Owned / run by:




Other Useful Websites:


Information and images of Kay Kendal

Google image search showing a large number of images of Kay Kendall






Lighthouse Visit Planning Grid

Name: Withernsea Lighthouse Museum, Yorkshire
Grid Reference: TA339279


Hull Road, Withernsea

Getting there: In town, easy to find.
Access: off the street


Not known, would not expect there to be any problem in this small town location


Withernsea Lighthouse

Hull Road


East Yorkshire,


HU19 2DY


(01964) 614834

Email: info@withernsealighthouse.co.uk

Opening times:

Easter-October: Saturday 1pm-5pm, Sunday 12noon-4pm
June-Mid Sept: Open weekdays 11am-5pm, weekends 1pm-5pm


Adults £2.50, Seniors £2, child £1.50, Family £6.50.

Best Times to Visit: Check opening, access times.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Lighthouse, coastal, wildlife, plants, possibly ships.

What to take:

Shoes suitable for climbing many steps, small bag with necessary items, Camera, selected lenses and filters.

Nature highlights:


Photo Restrictions:

None Known

Other Restrictions: None Known
Nearby Locations:  

Other Relevant pages:

For more articles, lists and other information see the Lighthouses Section

Lighthouse Map of England and Wales

Featured List of Lighthouses - England and Wales  

List of Minor Lighthouses and Lights - England and Wales

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By:  Keith Park   Section: Lighthouses Key:
Page Ref: Withernsea_Lighthouse_museum Topic: Lighthouses Last Updated: 06/2010


This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking: Withernsea Lighthouse Museum on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer