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Key facts about Grace Darling

Grace DarlingIn 1826, when Grace was 10 years old, she and her family moved to Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands in Northumberland.

Grace was the seventh of nine children.

She was taught to read and write at home by her parents. She also learnt to knit, spin and sew.

Her father, William Darling, was the lighthouse keeper – this was very hard work. The lantern had to be kept burning all the time.

Grace became famous for helping her father to rescue the survivors from the SS Forfarshire when the ship was driven by a storm onto Harcar rocks on 7 September 1838.


Grace was awarded an RNLI Silver Medal for Gallantry. Gold medals were awarded to both Grace and her father from the Royal Humane Society and £50 from Queen Victoria.

Grace died aged 26 on 20 October 1842 from consumption, which is another name for TB (an infection that affects the lungs).

She was buried in the churchyard in Bamburgh, Northumberland.

The RNLI founded the Grace Darling Museum in September 1938, exactly 100 years after her famous rescue. The Darlings became the most famous of all lighthouse families.

Many books, poems, articles, paintings and even a rose were created in Grace’s honour.

In the museum you can see the actual coble boat used by Grace and her father to rescue the survivors.

The lifeboat at Seahouses in the North East of England is called Grace Darling.

To learn more about Grace Darling, visit our Teachers & Youth leaders pages.

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