Silloth East Cote lighthouse is located on the promenade at the northern end of Silloth.
The town of Silloth developed in the 1850s with the arrival of the Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway. A line was extended into Silloth and in 1857 a pier was built from the west beach. The steamer service to Liverpool was then transferred from Port Carlisle.
East Cote Lighthouse is also sometimes also known as Skinburness, the next area to the north. The lighthouse formed a pair of leading lights with the Silloth Front Cote or Pierhead Lighthouse on the south pier extension.
The pier light was established in 1857 but was abandoned in the early 1900s when the pier began to deteriorate.
A new tower was erected near the end of the pier and mounted onto a short track which meant that the light could be moved according to the shifting channel.
The front East Cote light which was mounted on the pier was a short hexagonal wooden tower. Both the pier and the light were demolished in 1956. A structure on the south breakwater displays two green lights.
In 1913 the wooden tower of East Cote was replaced by a square metal pyramid tower displaying a fixed green light.
The lighthouse was automated in 1930, and in 1997 it was rebuilt by Associated British Ports to replicate its original style. This is still operational and visible on the promenade at Silloth.
Just to the southwest of Silloth Docks, Lees Scar Lighthouse was built in 1841 to aid vessels between Port Carlisle and Annan.
Lees Scar was known locally as “Tommy Legs”, as it was manned by a lighthouse keeper called Tommy Geddes. The lighthouse marked a submerged reef and was later removed. Its pile legs remain and now displays a navigation light on its top.
In 1906 Silloth lighthouse keeper Samuel Jardine walked out to the Lees Scar lighthouse at low water. However as the night fell, the light was reported to be unlit. On investigation, the lighthouse was found to be empty, and Jardine’s body was found the next morning on the beach. It is thought that he had been caught by the incoming tide on his way to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse was manned until 1938 when it was decommissioned, as it was deemed to be unsafe. The light was re-established in 1959 due to the pier partially collapsing.