MSO8110 - 20th Century coastguard station on Hurlstone Point (Monument)


The remains of a coastguard station on Hurlstone Point, built in around 1900 and manned until after World War II. It was a two-storey building, but now has no upper floor or roof.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A two-storey stone-built structure with large openings facing the sea. There is a water tank to the rear. The ruin has recently been stabilised. To the north the traces of a path down to the sea can be seen which may be associated. [1] The remains of a coastguard station lie on Hurlstone Point at SS 8998 4919. The building is two storeyed and built of ashlar blocks of local stone. The building measures 7.6 metres by 5.7 metres, the walls are 0.6 metres thick. It stands on a platform revetted into the cliff on a concrete base with drip gullies on three sides. The main entrance has a dressed stone porch. There are brick fireplaces in both the upper and lower rooms. Some doors have been recently blocked, and there is now no upper floor or roof. The front (north) elevation is dominated by two very large openings, with dressed stone details. The lower is 1.6 metres wide, the upper 2.2 metres wide. This was built as a coastguard station in 1900 by Huish and Cooksley, a building firm in Porlock. The station was manned permanently until after World War Two. A rocket warning signal and rescue equipment were kept here. A tall semaphore signalling system was used near the end of the point [2]. A square concrete block and a large wooden post to the seaward of the building may be associated with the latter. [3] The 20th Century coastguard tower was mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1941. In 1941, a large, white painted, tapered mast or flagpole was visible on the cliff a few metres to the northwest of the building which may relate to the semaphore signalling equipment [4]. The tower was still extant in aerial photographs taken in 1979. [4-7] 'Coastguard Lookout Hut' shown on Ordnance Survey map. [8] A flag staff was recorded at the site on the 3rd Edition Ordnance Survey mapping. The building and staff are no longer visible on the 2014 MasterMap. The building is represented by a monument polygon and the flag staff by a monument point. [9, 10] The building was assessed in relation to proposals to convert the property into a camping barn. It is of two storeys, built of stone and rectangular in plan, originally with a flat roof. The windows were likely to be sashes and a projecting bay window on the first floor north elevation enhanced vision along the coastline. [11] The site was photographed in 1999. [13] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [14] The building was considered for listing on 9 October 2019; however, it was not chosen for designation due to the extent of the loss of historic fabric and as it is a late example of the history and development of coastguard lookouts. It was accepted that the structure makes a strong contribution to the local landscape. [15]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, Somerset HER, September 1997.
  • <2> Monograph: Corner, D.. 1996. Dennis's Dozen: 13 suggested walks from Porlock. Unknown.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8948/2 (MSO31206/001) (21 June 1941).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4015 (11 July 1946).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79012 016-017 (17 April 1979).
  • <7> Archive: Crowther, S., Dickson, A. and Truscoe, K.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NE. MD000130.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1931. 6" map Somerset 23SW.
  • <9>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1933-1938. County Series, Third Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. [Mapped feature: #41766 Flag staff, ]
  • <10>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #40410 Coastguard Station, ]
  • <11> Report: Pearce, N.. 2019. Heritage design and access statement: Hurlestone Point Coastguard Station, Hurlestone Point, Selworthy, Somerset.
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Webb, K.. 2006. Miscelleneous oblique aerial photographs.
  • <13> Photograph: Hesketh-Roberts, M.. 1999. Job: Coastguard Lookout On Hurlestone Point. Colour. Negative.
  • <14> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1158174, Extant 14 February 2022.
  • <15> Report: Anonymous. 2019. Reject at Initial Assessment Report: Hurlstone Point Coastguard Lookout; 1467012. Historic England.
  • <16> Unpublished document: Dove, C.. 2022. Exmoor LHL Panel Meeting 28 November 2022. Exmoor National Park Authority.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO1107
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12321
  • Local Heritage List Status (Listed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE73
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA141472
  • NBR Index Number: 99/01497
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1158174
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 35509



Grid reference Centred SS 29e+ 1492 (24m by 12m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS21SE
Historic Parish PORLOCK

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Mar 18 2024 2:17PM


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