Monday, 31 July 2017

Voelnant Telegraph Station

Lowry refers to the Liverpool and Holyhead Telegraph in Chapter X111 of In Ballast to the White Sea; "A lone airman, that wintry Easter, was flying over the Irish Sea. Now that the fog had cleared completely he was following the line of the old telegraph stations to Liverpool: Holyhead, Cefn Du, Point Lynas, Puffin Island, Great Ormes Head. Making a spurt, he covered the seventeen miles between Llysfaen over Veryd to Voel Nant in seven minutes."

Voel Nant Telegraph Station (or Foelnant), between Prestatyn and Gronant, approaching the Dee estuary. The present Foelnant building carries a stone tablet in south gable with the inscription "Voelnant Telegraph Built in 1841 by the Trustees of the Liverpool Docks". It was built on land belonging to the Nant Hall estate. The semaphore system was used as late as 1860 as an emergency fallback when the electric telegraph failed. Though probably redundant by 1879 the station remained in the occupation of the dock trustees at a rent of £5 per annum.

In the early C20 Foelnant station was brought back into use for spotting ships in distress and summoning lifeboats, but was closed c1907. A stand for launching rockets was set up nearby.

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