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Gallery 1 > North-East of England > Marsden Bay, South Tyneside

Marsden was originally a small village, consisting of farms, a few cottages and a lighthouse at Souter Point. Local industry consisted of a small limestone quarry.

 

The nearby Marsden Bay includes the Marsden Rock sea stack. The Leas, located to the north, is an important seabird sanctuary. This land, along with Souter Lighthouse (the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by alternating current), is now owned by the National Trust. Marsden is best known for its beaches including Marsden Beach which has the famous Marsden Rock and the famous pub the Marsden Grotto. The beaches span along to the beach known locally as Boatie's Bay.

 

Marsden Rock is a rock formation in Tyne and Wear, North East England, situated in Marsden, South Shields. It is owned by the National Trust and overlooked by the Marsden Grotto. It is reachable on foot during low tide, but is completely surrounded by water at high tide. The rock is a 100 feet (30 m) sea stack of periclase and Magnesian Limestone which lies approximately 100 yards (91 m) off the main cliff face. In 1803 a flight of steps was constructed up the side of the rock. In 1903 several choirs climbed onto the rock to perform a choral service. A juggling show was also performed by a group of trainee clowns who worked for Marsden Quarry.

 

In 1911 a large section of the rock collapsed into the sea leaving it as an arch. Continued tidal erosion caused the arch to collapse in 1996, splitting the rock into two separate stacks. Prior to this it had featured on many local postcards and photographs. In 1997 the smaller stack was declared unsafe and was demolished in the interests of public safety. The rock is home to sea bird colonies, with thousands of pairs of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Gulls and Cormorants.