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In 1831 the Brethren of Trinity House of Kingston upon Hull paid the sum of seven shillings and sixpence to have a house at Paull whitewashed in order to make it a more distinct seamark for those navigating the River Humber up to Hull. Although the need for a lighthouse was not in doubt in the minds of the local mariner, Trinity House still needed convincing and in 1835 as a temporary measure to aid navigation around that area a light was exhibited from a window in the Humber Tavern at Paul with the owner being paid £ 2 a month for the rent of a room which housed the lantern.
Paull lighthouse was designed by Francis Dale to the order of Trinity House, Kingston upon Hull. In August 1836 a piece of land on the north bank of the River Humber at Paull village in south Yorkshire was purchased for £ 60 and the building of a circular brick lighthouse commenced on the site. James Campbell was appointed the lighthouse keeper at a salary of £ 50 per annum and he lived in the cottage attached and tended the bright fixed white light.
In 1851 the light was improved with the installation by Thomas Purdon of a red sector at a cost of £ 14 6s 3d. The bright fixed white light with a red sector was shown from a catoptric lantern of three lamps, each with one burner and was visible for 7 miles. A red glass in front of one of the reflectors produced the red sector. The consumption was 150 gallons of refined rape oil and 1 ½ dozen cotton wicks per year. The salary of the keeper by 1860 had risen to £ 55 per annum with free allowance of coal and oil and the benefit of the keeper's cottage attached to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is a 30 feet high white painted brick circular tower lighthouse with keeper's cottage attached which in turn form the right angle bend in a row of terraced cottages. These additional cottages were added at a much later date as the area grew. The tower has cement coating on the outside and was originally painted red. Entrance to the tower is from inside the cottage. It has a lantern room with a traditional gallery on top and is capped by a metal domed roof making a total height of 40 feet.
The second intended lighthouse at Paull was never erected as the Brethren established other aids between Paull and Hull.
Paull lighthouse became redundant in 1870 when new lights were erected on either side of it at Salt End and Thorngumbald Clough. It was offered for sale at £ 450 to the War Department who maintained a battery at Paull for the defence of the River Humber, but they declined to purchase it. It was resold many times and when it was derelict it was sold again in 1947 with keeper's cottage attached to Mrs. W.J.Scales for £ 6,000. It changed hands again in 1954 and the new owners renovated the property and installed a grand spiral staircase inside the tower so that they could easily reach the top and admire the fine views over the Humber.
Today the row of cottages bear the name "Anson Villas" after the wooden battleship HMS Anson which was launched in May 1812, and the lighthouse is preserved in situ as a private home but the flood defence wall built to protect the village of Paull from the River Humber has robbed the lighthouse of the shoreline upon once it stood. The building proudly carries the original carved stone plaque which reads "This lighthouse was built 1836 by the Trinity House of Kingston upon Hull : William Collinson; George Hall; Warden"