Description: Lighthouse and Attached Buildings
Date Listed: 31 December 1969
English Heritage Building ID: 236802
OS Grid Reference: NU2930504532
OS Grid Coordinates: 429305, 604532
Latitude/Longitude: 55.3340, -1.5396
There is also a scheduled monument, Monastic Cell and Medieval Tower on Coquet Island, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
HAUXLEY COQUET ISLAND
NU 20 SE
8/133 Lighthouse and
Benedictine monastic cell, C14 or C15; early C19 lighthouse-keeper's cottage
built into chapel ruins, other parts incorporated in 1841 Trinity House
lighthouse complex. Medieval parts squared stone of varying quality; cottage
large squared stone; 1841 parts squared stone with raised tooled-and-margined
quoins and dressings. Flat roofs not seen, except for cottage roof of slates
with C20 waterproof covering.
Plan: The cell consisted of an east-west 2-storey domestic range with an
attached chapel to the east, with north-west sacristy turret. Tower, perhaps
originally detached, to south of west end of domestic range. In 1841 a new
dwelling block was built incorporating the undercroft of the domestic range,
with a lobby linking it to the tower; the upper part of the tower was rebuilt
to carry the lighthouse lantern.
South elevation: Tower to left, with chamfered plinth. The lower 3 floors
are medieval, with traces of old openings, and C19 windows; recessed top stage
with corbelled-out embattled parapet and circular lantern with swept dome and
weathervane. Right return shows blocked medieval loops to lower 2 floors;
lobby on right has vertical-panelled door with Gothick sidelights, all within
segmental-pointed arch, and paired 6-pane casements above. Set back to right
of tower is 3-bay domestic range with boarded door under 4-centred arch,
buttress-like projection for newel stair, and 2 enlarged basement loops; 1841
upper floor does not extend over full length, and has medieval walling with
chamfered 1st-floor window to right. Far right single-storey 5-bay cottage
which has central gabled porch with boarded door on each return, and hipped
roof with stepped-and-banded ridge stack. Cottage right return incorporates
east end of chapel with double-chamfered jambs and sill of large windows;
at foot of wall is worn C14 cross slab.
North elevation: 1841 3-bay block to right, with central projection carried
up as octagonal turret; embattled parapets on corbels. To left, beyond
attached yard and outbuildings, is rear wall of cottage incorporating parts
of north wall of chapel including projecting sacristy turret with upper floor
on oversailing chamfered course, and squinch arches between returns and main
West elevation: 1841 block on left, the right part set forward, with oriel
window. Set back to right is lower lobby, with vertical-panelled double
doors in segmental pointed arch under Trinity House arms in gable. To far
right is tower, with C19 windows.
1841 parts have raised window surrounds with extended lintels and sills;
glazing mostly renewed.
Interior: Medieval domestic range has undercroft with pointed tunnel vault,
now divided into 3 chambers; 2 blocked doors in west end, and blocked newel
stair in south. Interior of sacristy (turret appears to be solid at ground
floor level) shows drawbar tunnel in door jamb, and drains and flue in wall
thickness. Tower much altered in C19, although basement with pointed barrel
vault may be medieval.
Historical Notes. Almost certainly the site of a Celtic monastery; St.
Cuthbert met Abbess Elfleda of Whitby here in 684. In the medieval period
the home of two noteworthy hermits, the Dane St. Henry of Coquet, and Martin
who angered Robert fitz Roger of Warkworth by building his own windmill;
later a cell of Tynemouth Priory - the Prior mentioned as owning 'Coket-Island
Tower' in 1415. After the Dissolution used by coin counterfeiters, and
garrisoned as a military outpost taken by the Scots in 1643.
Yard walls and single-storey outbuildings to north of 1841 block are not of
Article and plan by W.H. Knowles in 'Northumberland County History' V,
Listing NGR: NU2930504532
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.