Famous landmark to be restored

The Mount, Fleetwood, in 1890

The Mount, Fleetwood, in 1890

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This famous Fleetwood landmark is soon to be restored to its original look.

Wyre Council has plans to completely revive the port’s most iconic landmark – The Mount.

The Mount in Fleetwood showing the tennis courts, thought to be in the 1920s

The Mount in Fleetwood showing the tennis courts, thought to be in the 1920s

For almost 200 years, The Mount has stood sentinel over the town’s changing fortunes.

A rabbit warren, the focal point of the town’s beginnings, a meeting place, a playground and quiet haven – The Mount has been an attraction for all ages.

Its reputed town founder Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood stood at the top of The Mount and with the help of architect Decimus Burton planned the new town of Fleetwood, with wide streets radiating from their vantage point like spokes of a wheel.

The pavilion itself has suffered storm and tempest damage over the years – as well as vandalism.

The first pavilion was built around 1837 – a decagonal Chinese-style designed by Decimus Burton.

It was known as the Temple by early visitors, and was damaged by storms in 1863.

Replaced by another wooden, but more substantial and spacious building, it later included a tea room where strawberry teas cost four pence.

Further alterations were made to the structure, following another storm in 1869.

At the turn of the century, the pavilion was in such a bad state it was demolished and replaced by the present brick building.

In 1919, the famous four-sided Mount clock was presented to the town by businessman Isaac Spencer, of the Fleetwood firm Isaac Spencer and Son.

It was a memorial gift in “recognition of the magnificent response made by the men of Fleetwood to the nation’s call, their devotion to duty, their noble and courageous deeds on sea and land, and in so many cases, their supreme sacrifice in the defence of freedom in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.”

The Mount’s original cast iron railings – made by one of the era’s most prolific iron founders – had to be removed in 1942, for the Second World War.

In the summer of 1987, The Mount underwent a major facelift, at a cost of more than £40,000, which gave it a new lease of life.

Nearly 10,000 people visited the clock gallery at the pavilion just in the first two months it was opened.

And members of Fleetwood Civic Society staged a local history exhibition in The Mount. Wyre Craft Guild’s work was also on show.

A floral design of Fleetwood’s coat of arms was installed on The Mount in 1986, to mark the town’s 150th anniversary.

In 1988, The Mount became home to a special stained glass window from the Marine Hall.

The panel, which was a gift to Wyre Council to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, was hung above the clock workings in the lock gallery. It had been put into storage during alterations to the Marine Hall.

In 1989, it was announced – after years of campaigning and efforts by Wyre Council and Fleetwood Civic Society – the pavilion was to become a listed building, it would be officially recognised as being of special architectural and historical interest.

During the 1980s, the pavilion was home to the Citizens Advice Bureau, but it later moved to new premises.

The Mount also started hosting a craft centre, which still continues to this day in the summer season.

The restoration work will see the seaward side of the Mount’s Grade II registered gardens transformed back to their 19th century design – starting with bringing back the railings which topped the esplanade wall.

At the same time, the shelters will be restored, pathways repaired and resurfaced and heritage benches added.

An initial bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has also been submitted, for money to transform the landward side, including the pavilion, rose garden and gate lodge, with a decision expected early next year.

Work has already begun on the new railings – which are being specially-made to replicate the ornamental pattern of the original Victorian design – and the work is expected to finish in summer 2016.

Find out more at www.wyre.gov.uk/themount