Souter Lighthouse is located on Lizard Point at Marsden, but takes its name from Souter Point, which is located one mile to the south. This was the intended site for the lighthouse, but it was felt that Lizard Point offered better visibility because of the higher the cliffs. The name however was retained to avoid confusion with the newly built Lizard Lighthouse on the Lizard Peninsula, the southern most point in Cornwall.
Designed by James Douglass, and was contracted to construct the lighthouse quickly in 1871. He did, and opened that same year; as it was urgently needed due to the dangerous reefs hidden directly beneath the waterline of the surrounding seaside. This contributed to making this area of coastline the most dangerous of the British Isles with an average of approximately 44 shipwrecks for every mile of coastline; in 1860 alone there were 20 shipwrecks. In fact, the Souter Lighthouse was the very first light to use electricity generated on the premises to power the entire mechanism of the light tower and considered to be the most advanced lighthouse technology of its time. It produced over 800,000 candle power light using carbon arcs and not a standard filament bulb allowing the light to be seen as far as 26 miles. The lighthouse was in operation until 1988 when it was decommissioned and handed over to the National Trust who owns it today.
This Location has many ghost stories. One of the main ghost stories are of a young girl who is said to have been seen near the engine room. People have reported her crying and others have heard there names been called by a young female voice. Could be it be the voice of Grace Darling, who resided here in 1838, and earned her reputation as the country’s most celebrated maritime heroine when she rescued crew members of a sinking ship in treacherous conditions. Or her niece Isobella Darling who lived here more than 160 years later and is said to still be making her presence known?
Staff have reported spoons levitating, cold spots and the feeling of being physically grabbed, with much of the activity reportedly taking place in the kitchen and living areas. They have also commented on the strong odor of tobacco in the kitchen corridor, and also in the area around the recreated Keeper’s Cottage. Could that be a former lighthouse keeper who is responsible for those odors, experienced many times, and by many people? A waitress had also been surprised to spot near the far end of the kitchen corridor a man in what is described as a turn-of-the-century lighthouse keeper’s uniform. But as always, he promptly disappears when spotted.
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