In the early 18th century the coastline of Fleetwood was covered by sand hills, the highest point known as Tup Hill. As plans progressed for a new, purpose-built town, it was decided that Tup Hill would be used as the focal point, with streets spanning out from the landmark in a half-wheel design. Sir Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood renamed this “The Mount”.
Taking advantage of the spanning views, renowned architect Decimus Burton designed a wooden pagoda to sit at the top of the Mount, erected by Robert Parkinson in 1836. In 1838 a cobble wall was added to the rear of the Mount using pebbles collected by workmen from the beach; it is said that each pebble is no larger than the palm of a workman’s hand.
Another building, added in 1841, was first used by Hesketh-Fleetwood himself and then for a gardener and grounds-keeper. Controversy struck in the 1860s when Hesketh-Fleetwood built a wall, restricting access to the Mount grounds, which was met with a community backlash that saw this as an essential public thoroughfare. Succumbing to demand, he removed the wall.
In the early 1900s the two-storey pavilion replaced the original with a striking octagonal dome and copper roof. In 1921 local businessman Isaac Spencer donated the clock, dedicated to Fleetwood men who fought and lost their lives during World War I - this is now a registered war memorial.
Due to the Mount’s proximity to the sea, the Pavilion was damaged by the 1927 Fleetwood floods and in the latter half of the 20th century the building was closed to the public and fell into disrepair, with ensuing discussions about its demolition. The Fleetwood Civic Society refused to see a building of historical significance removed, and following renovations by Wyre Borough Council the pavilion was reopened in 1986, celebrating the town’s 150th anniversary.
The Pavilion is now open in the summer months, where local artists display their work, run community groups and in 2018 it became a licensed wedding venue. With views reaching as far as the Lake District on clear days, it’s the perfect location to enjoy the vast northwest coastline and in the right conditions; you can even see the hills of the Isle of Man.