The current building at Walney Lighthouse dates to the early 19th Century and is Grade II* listed, as well as being the southernmost man-made structure in Cumbria.

Completed in 1804, the stone lighthouse was built to replace a smaller wooden lighthouse constructed by the Lancaster Quay Commissioners in 1790 to aid in navigation towards the docks at Glasson, close to Lancaster and the River Lune.

The original lighthouse was destroyed by fire in 1803 and was swiftly replaced by the lighthouse of today.

Until 2003, when it was finally automated, Walney was the last manned lighthouse in England.

The Mail:

Its most famous resident was Peggy Braithwaite, who lived in one of the cottages at the lighthouse for more than 60 years.

She had followed in her father’s footsteps to become principal lighthouse keeper in 1974 and was Britain’s only woman lighthouse keeper, retiring in 1994.

Peggy was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1984.

The Mail:

The Mail reported then how Mrs Braithwaite’s courage had been tested to the limit at times. On one occasion she had pushed the light round all night by hand when the mechanism failed.

In 1989, The Mail reported how Barrow’s Employment Training had taken on a very tall order of a job. A band of intrepid workers and their supervisors was scaling the heights of the lighthouse and its cottages to seal them against winds that could bluster up to gale force on wintry nights.

The Mail:

Barrow ET had approached Mrs Braithwaite and offered to draught proof her home and the lighthouse to present its trainees with the ultimate test.

Alan Benson, ET’s divisional director of training and development, said the team had not witnessed anything like it before.

“It’s like Anneka Rice’s challenge,” he said. “The wind force and the elements are that much more severe.”