the area around the Farne Islands just off Northumberland was quite a dangerous stretch of water. After several early attempts at providing light towers on the islands, the Longstone Light was built in 1826 on the outmost of the islands at a cost of £4,771. The first keeper was William Darling.
The keeper's daughter, Grace Darling, lived with her father on the island and it was on the night of the 7th September 1838 she earned national fame for courage in helping save the passengers of the wrecked steamship Forfarshire.
The Forfarshire regularly travelled between Hull and Dundee and on the night in question she was forced onto the Harcar Rocks off Longstone Island by strong northerly gales. Grace Darling's bedroom window looked out across the rocks and it was from theer she spotted the stricken vessel. Grace and her father set off in the lighthouse's small rowing boat to try and help. They saved the lives of nine people who had been left clinging to the rocks after the ship foundered.
Grace was only 22 at the time and quickly became a national heroine. But sadly she died of tuberculosis only four years later. She is buried at Bamburgh in sight of the islands.
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