Tyne and Wear HER(13361): North Shields, Lighthouse Stairs - Details
North Shields, Lighthouse Stairs
A series of steep stairs linked the upper and lower parts of North Shields. The low town along the riverside, at the base of the steep bank was the original medieval settlement, which in the post medieval period became overcowded and slum-like. In the 18th century fine houses for businessmen and shipowners were built on top of the plateau above Ranters, Magnesia, Naters, Stewarts and Ropery Banks. The banks were also tightly packed with buildings. The slum dwellings were cleared away but some of the stairs still remain, although not necessarily in their original position. These stairs linked Bell Street to the New High Light (HER 2129). These stairs are said to have inspired the piano removal scene in Laurel and Hardy's film 'The Music Box' released in 1932. Stan Laurel lived for a time in Dockwray Square at the top of these stairs.
North Tyneside Council and Nexus, North Shields Heritage Trail, board 12 'High Town'