Leasowe Lighthouse is one of two old lighthouses which stood overlooking Mockbeggar bay. The
first lighthouse known as the lower light, was taken down centuries ago but is noted to have
stood much further out into the sea, on land which is now no longer visible.
Mr Thomas Barclay in 1827 states the following:
"A lighthouse stood on the beach, to the northward of the present one, nearly half a mile distant, if not
all together. That lighthouse was long ago rendered useless by the encroachment of the water, and it
was pulled down. The present one was built in 1763, and i assisted in building it. At that time there
was a high ridge of sand hills and grass to keep off the tide, at a considerable distance from the present
lighthouse. The hills and grass are now all gone, and there is nothing left to stop the water which is
making rapid approaches inland".
It is recorded that out near the old lighthouse there used to be an old well which was enclosed all
around by masonry. In 1889 Philip Sulley states that the well is still visible at low tide.
Unfortunately today, the well and all evidence of the old lighthouse is now under the heavy waters
of the River Mersey.
Leasowe Lighthouse stands on Leasowe Common and is a well known landmark on Wirral. It is
built of brick, several feet thick and is solid at the base, tapering as it goes up to a height of one
hundred and one feet. There are seven floors which can be reached by a cast iron staircase of one
hundred and thirty steps.
Over the entrance there is a tablet bearing the inscription M.W.G. 1763, standing for and
commemorating the then mayor of Liverpool, William Gregson. Two lighthouses were originally
erected on the coast of Leasowe in 1763 a 'lower light' on the shore and an 'upper light' on the
site of the present building. The theory was, that the approaching ships master had only to line
up the two lights to achieve a safe entrance to the Rock Channel and the port of Liverpool. The
'lower light' was troubled by erosion and the building collapsed into the sea during a storm. The
present lighthouse at Leasowe was used as the lower light when the previous lower lighthouse
collapsed and the upper light was built on Bidston Hill in 1771, three miles away. The light at
Leasowe were lit for the last time on July 14th 1908, and the light at Bidston ceased to function in
The last keeper of the lighthouse was a woman. Mr. and Mrs. Williams were formerly keepers of
the Great Orme Lighthouse in Llandudno and they transferred to Leasowe. Shortly after moving
Mr. Williams was taken ill and it was during his illness that his wife took over the duties. She
performed them so well that on his death, which was twelve months later, the Mersey Docks and
Harbour Board made her keeper. They also allowed her to employ one of her thirteen children, a
daughter, as an assistant. When the building ceased to function as a lighthouse Mrs. Williams
was moved into a cottage but she kept the lighthouse as a teahouse for summer visitors and it
became extremely popular. In 1929 it was offered for sale but no one wanted to buy it until March
1930 when the Wallasey Corporation bought it for a sum of £900. After the death of Mrs. Williams
in 1935 the lighthouse was closed to the public and put to no further use. In 1973 it was painted
white but nothing more was done until 1989 when the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral carried out
refurbishment work to stop the building deteriorating any further.
The lighthouse houses a Visitor Centre and is the base for the Coastal Rangers and the focal point
for the North Wirral Coastal Park. The lighthouse is open to the top on the first Sunday of each
month throughout the winter, and in the summer it is open on the first and third Sundays, 1pm
Click on the image below to enlarge...