Friday, 30 September 2011

WHITBURN

It may be a little known fact that Whitburn has something in common with Thurlestone in South Devon. In my Thurlestone post on 19 February I mentioned that one of the ships of the Spanish Armada had been wrecked nearby, and that timbers thought to be from that ship can be found in the local pub. After the defeat of the fleet off the coast of France the surviving vessels headed up through the North Sea. However two Spanish galleons came to a sticky end when they ran aground on Whitburn Rocks. The galleons were plundered by the locals and a bell from one of them ended up in Whitburn Church.

The village lies to the north of a sandy bay, Whitburn Bay, and there is a clifftop path heading north towards Lizard Point. Souter Lighthouse, owned by the National Trust, stands on Lizard Point. The lighthouse was the first lighthouse to use electricity and though it ceased operation in 1988, it remains open to visitors, with the machinery still in working order. Souter Lighthouse has gained a reputation for hauntings, with people reporting the sensation of being grabbed by something, of spoons levitating and unexplained tobacco odours. Also to the north, Whitburn Coastal Park is looked after by the National Trust, and is a popular spot for birdwatchers, while fans of cetaceans have the chance to view them in late summer. Whitburn Mill is a Grade II listed building dating from 1790, considered to be of special architectural and historical importance. The writer Lewis Carroll is thought to have written The Walrus And The Carpenter while staying at his cousin’s house in Whitburn.

Map of the area.

'Souter Lighthouse 2' photo (c) 2008, firmatography - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

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