Lead Light Tower

Historical Sites and Heritage Locations

Ever wondered why we have a castle in a high corner of the city? Located at the intersection of Brown and Tyrrell Streets in The Hill is a tall round tower with a distinct lean, which looks like a standard battlement from a medieval castle.

The Lead Light Tower, the remaining one of a pair, was used in the navigation of ships into the port in the mid-19th century. When aligned to each other, the two lights were expected to provide a dead reckoning navigational aid for ships entering the harbour. The sister tower, located lower down the hill in Perkins St, has long since disappeared.

Both towers were originally identical except for colour. The front tower in Perkins St was painted white with red light; the Brown St. tower was red with a white light. Because of the difference in their building elevations, the towers and their lights appeared one above the other when seen from the sea outside the port.

The Heritage Listed tower with its castle-like parapet demonstrates the importance of trade and shipping to Newcastle and, in turn, the importance of Newcastle in developing the Australian economy.

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