The hill on which The Mount stands was one of the largest sandhills in the area when the port and town of Fleetwood was but a twinkle in the eye….
In the 1830s Peter Hesketh’s Rossall estate was a desolate tract, home of thousands of rabbits and their extensive warrens, and sea birds.
At the time the area was prone to continual flooding, and the port of Fleetwood hadn’t been developed. Skippool and Poulton were then the busy trading places on the River Wyre.
However, Peter Hesketh, Lord of the Manor, High Sheriff of the County of Lancashire and MP for Preston (later to be knighted and change his name to Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood) believed that what is now Fleetwood could be a busy sea port and popular resort because of the river mouth, the natural sheltered harbour, golden sands, sea, air like wine and breath-taking views across Morecambe Bay on clear days. All that lacked was a railway from busy Preston – and that’s another story which you can read about here.
In 1836, the renowned architect of the day, Decimus Burton was hired by Peter Hesketh to plan the new town, when the area was nothing more than open farms with an odd dwelling dotted here and there.
Burton’s plan was to use largest of the sand-dunes on the north-facing shore as the focus of a half-wheel street layout.
This sandhill was an extensive rabbit warren with the ground rising to a high point at the centre, and was the highest spot where the two men could get a good view over the land, and so they stood at the top of it and mapped out the radius of streets which you now see in Fleetwood today.
The Mount (marked by the red star in the Google map above) became the hub of Burton’s half-wheel design, the main residential streets acted as the spokes, and the main commerce area of Dock Street was the rim of the wheel.
The sand hill itself was landscaped, and became known as The Mount. Originally called Starr Hill, the highest in the chain of dunes and an established rabbit warren, it became a focal point.
A pagoda style summer house was first built on top of the Mount, also designed by Decimus Burton, from which Esau Carter Monk, one of the first town commissioners, served refreshments.
The Mount Pavilion
The current Mount Pavilion building which we see today replaced the original structure over 100 years ago, and was built around 1902/04.
It’s one of 43 Grade II Listed Buildings in Fleetwood, built from brick and tile, with a copper roofed octagonal dome.
Inside, it’s a beautiful building, still with pretty much of it’s original detailing.
The Mount Clock
Isaac Spencer, a wealthy port businessman, donated the clock which you still see today, working in the clock tower and telling the time for Fleetwood.
It’s worked from a mechanism inside the building, displayed in a glass case so that you can see the workings.
Inside the case you can watch the seconds tick by
The Mount Clock was donated in memory of those who did not return from World War 1 and is a First World War registered War Memorial.
This is the plaque which you’ll see inside the building, with this inscription:
The Great War 1914-18
Fleetwood Memorial Clock
This clock is 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; also in sympathy with the maimed, the widows, and the fatherless.
The Mount Today
In 2016, Wyre Council began a programme of restoration of The Mount with thanks to a very generous donation from the Lofthouse family, and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The grounds were first to receive attention, with the railings being replaced, the Victorian shelters being restored and work beginning on planting up the grounds.
Find out More
You can find out much more about local Fleetwood from Fleetwood Museum. With lots of fascinating displays and age old artefacts it’s a fascinating walk back through time and the heritage of the area.
Details taken from various sources including Wikipedia.
If you have other details to add to this article or things that should be changed, then please email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk
Would you like your own Mount Pavilion?
Visit Fleetwood is independently published by The Rabbit Patch Ltd. We’re a design and creatives company right here on the Fylde Coast and we have an online shop where we sell our own original art.
This is one of two watercolour paintings of The Mount and Pavilion – available framed or as a plain print. Follow the link and have a look around at both local scenes and traditional seaside views.
The Mount and Pavilion on The Esplanade, Fleetwood seafront