What was the Rocket House used for?
When a ship ran aground close to the shore it was difficult, if not impossible, for a lifeboat to reach her. So rockets with attached lines were developed which could be fired from the shore to the ship. Sailors on board would then haul in thicker rope and set up a breeches buoy - basically a pair of shorts attached to a life ring. This enabled the rescuers to haul each mariner safely to shore.
Rocket Houses were built to store a wagon which was loaded with all the rescue equipment. The wagon was hauled either by horses or men to the shipwreck.
Over 300 Rocket Houses were built around the UK coast, the first one at Tynemouth in 1865 and Newbiggin's in 1866.