Just along from Marston Rock and Grotto is Souter Lighthouse.
Some interesting facts about the lighthouse………..Souter Lighthouse was opened in 1871 on Lizard Point near Sunderland. Originally, the lighthouse was meant to be built 1 mile down the coastline on Souter Point but was relocated due to the clifftops being higher. The name was kept to avoid confusion. The lighthouse was built to protect sailors, from what at the time, was the most notorious coastline of its day. In 1860 alone, there were 20 shipwrecks reported on the reefs just off the coast. James Douglass designed the iconic red and white striped building as it became the first lighthouse to be lit by electricity. It’s 800,000 candle power light could be seen for up to 26 miles away. It was in active service until 1988 when it was decommissioned but was still used until 1999 as a radio beacon. Today, it is owned by The National Trust and has become a museum where you can look back at the day to day life of a lighthouse and its workers.
I also found out that the lighthouse is haunted by Isobella Darling. In the north-west of England the surname of Darling is well known and admired. Grace Darling was a heroine from 1838 when she helped to save the lives of 13 people from the wreck of the SS Forfarshire in severe weather conditions. The ghost of Isobella Darling is Grace’s niece. It has been verified from census records of 1881 that she lived at the Souter Lighthouse – and appears to still frequent the building. Staff at the lighthouse have reported spoons levitating, cold spots and have had the feeling of being physically grabbed. A lot of this activity takes place in the kitchen and living areas where Isobella would have lived. A waitress – Souter is now owned by the UK National Trust – and many others have also seen a man in an old-fashioned lighthouse keeper’s uniform. He wanders the kitchen corridor and then disappears. The smell of tobacco lingers in the air.
2011 – Taken with my old iPhone.