Souter Lighthouse is located in the village of Marsden in South Shields, Tyne & Wear.
It was the first lighthouse in the world to be actually designed and built specifically to use alternating electric current, the most advanced lighthouse technology of its day.
Designed by James Douglass and first lit in the 1870s, Souter was described at the time as ‘without doubt one of the most powerful lights in the world’.
Souter Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1988, but continued to serve as a radio navigation beacon up until 1999 when it was finally closed.
As Souter was never automated, it retains manyof its original features and equipment except for updates during its lifespan to its lantern and electrical apparatus.
Today the decommissioned Souter lighthouse is owned by the National Trust and open to the public; the engine room, light tower and keeper’s living quarters are all on view.
There is also an outdoor play area, Trusty Club and indoor activities to accommodate young visitors.
Two of the former lighthouse keepers’ cottages are used as National Trust holiday cottages. The lighthouse is said to be haunted and has even featured on British TV’s Most Haunted ghost-hunting programme.
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