Lighthouses

Carraig Mhòr Lighthouse, Nr Port Askaig, Isle of Islay, Scotland

When you sail into Port Askaig on the Isle of Islay, you pass Carraig Mhòr Lighthouse in the Sound of Islay, I was hoping it would be a Stevenson Lighthouse to add to my collection, but it’s not.  The light was established in 1928 and that’s all I can find out about it at the moment, but its one for the ‘Lighthouse Collection’  and as always, they are all set in spectacular scenery.

From our visit in May 2016

Hynish Shore Station, Isle of Tiree, Scotland

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On of the reasons that visitors come to the Isle of Tiree, off the coast of Scotland, apart from the many stunning sandy beaches that outline the island, is the Hynish Shore-Station.  We visited in May 2016 and had the site of the restored shore-station of Skerryvore Lighthouse all to ourselves.  The buildings at Hynish were started in 1837 and finished in 1844, comprised a dock, workshops and lodgings for those involved in the building of the Skerryvore Lighthouse.

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The signal tower was built in 1843 to provide semaphore communication with Skerryvore Lighthouse. Semaphore is a system of sending visual messages using hand-held flags, discs or paddles. Before radio, the signal tower was the only way of communicating between the lighthouse and the shore station.  At the same time the Lighthouse Keepers Cottages, on Upper Square, were built to serve the Lighthouse. 

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The Skerryvore Lighthouse Museum, which occupies on of the old workshops, tells the story of the heroic engineers and keepers who built and maintained the lighthouse on a treacherous low-lying reef 10 miles south-west of Tiree.

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The museum full of information of those who helped to build Skerryvore lighthouse, Scotland’s tallest, on a remote reef 12 miles south-west off the windswept Isle. The architect of this ambitious project was Alan Stevenson, uncle of Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson, who loyally spoke of Skerryvore as “the noblest of all extant deep-sea lights

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The Hynish Heritage Trail (maps available from the museum) leads you around the workshops and walled gardens that once served this small community.  The museum is open from May to September.

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The Lighthouse Keepers cottages today.

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McArthur’s Head Lighthouse 1861, Isle of Islay

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I nearly missed this Stevenson Lighthouse, we were having our dinner on the ferry sailing to Islay off the west coast of Scotland, when I suddenly realised that we had passed a lighthouse.   I rushed outside but I had missed the chance for a close up shot, but this post is to remind me next year to take it again.   McArthur’s Head Lighthouse built by David and Thomas Stevenson in 1861, is in a remote position and difficult to visit, so a shot from the ferry is the best way to see it.

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May 2016

Loch Indaal Lighthouse 1869, Isle of Islay, Scotland

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Following up with Stevenson Lighthouses in Scotland, I found photos of another three lighthouses.  This post is about Loch Indaal Lighthouse built in 1869 by David and Thomas Stevenson.  Also called Rubh an Duin Light, it is situated near to Port Charlotte on the southeast side of the Rinns of Islay peninsula.  You can see the Paps of Jura in the background of a couple of the photos.  The Light Keepers House, is holiday accommodation at the moment, and you can visit the grounds of the tower, but the door is locked.  Photos were taken from the car window as we drove past in May 2016.

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Rinns of Islay Lighthouse 1825, Orsay, Inner Hebrides

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I have added yet another category to my blog, Stevenson Lighthouses in Scotland.  I found out when researching for Skerryvore Lighthouse that there are a great many Stevenson built lighthouses in Scotland and so far the ones that I have photographed, have been in the most beautiful locations.  So apart from all the other things I want to explore and photograph, I now want to see how many I can capture.  As I live in England and not Scotland, this could be a long affair, but fun, just adds somewhere else to visit, although, I do not have to physically visit the lighthouse, taking a photo from afar is ok.

We were lucky enough to have a second holiday in Scotland this year, when we stayed on Jura and Isley, two beautiful islands off the west coast and I realised that I had taken some photos of a couple of Stevenson Lighthouses.  This post is of the elegant Rinns of Islay Lighthouse, which is on the Isle of Orsay that you can see at the end of the road in Port Wemyss on Islay, separated by a stretch of narrow water.  Built by Robert Stevenson in 1825.  The light was alternately stationary and revolving, producing a bright ‘flash’ of light every 12 seconds, this was a new way to distinguish one light from another, without those intervals of darkness which characterise other lights on the coast. DSC_0639

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May 2016

Skerryvore 1844, The Tallest Lighthouse In Scotland

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The main reason that we visited the beach on the previous post, was to see if we could see the Skerryvore Lighthouse off the coast of the Isle of Tiree on the west coast of Scotland and we could.  The first photo is full close-up of the lighthouse which is 12 miles from where we were standing.  The second photo is normal, you have to look along the horizon and towards the right you will see a tiny spike, that is the lighthouse, took us about 5 minutes to locate it.  As I wanted this lighthouse for my collection, its was the only way that I would ever see it, thank goodness it was a beautiful clear day.

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There is a museum on the Island and I will post about that later, and there is an exhibition about the lighthouse and the following photos show what you are really looking at.

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The lighthouse was described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “the noblest of all extant deep sea lights.”  Roberts uncle, Alan Stevenson, was the chief engineer for the project which spanned seven years, four of which involved the actual construction, from 1840 to 1844.

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A few details about the Stevenson Family, but I now think there is no way, that I will find all 156 lighthouses, oh well just keep looking 🙂

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May 2016

Eileen Musdile Lighthouse, 1833 Lismore, Scotland

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One of the highlights of travelling on the ferries out of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, bound for far away Scottish islands, is sailing past the Lismore Lighthouse.  Regardless of the weather, the lighthouse is just as impressive in sun or grey skies, just great for taking photos.  These photos were taken in May 2116 in a mixture of weather.

Lismore Light House’ is situated on Eilean Musdile which is an islet, south west of Lismore in the Inner Hebrides. The island lies in the entrance to Loch Linnhe, separated from Lismore by a sound ¼ miles across.  This is another lighthouse built by the engineer Robert Stevenson in 1833.

June 1965 saw the biggest change for the lighthouse, when it was converted to automatic operation at an estimated cost of £10,000.  The lightkeepers were then withdrawn. The beacon flashes white every 10 seconds and has a nominal range of 19 miles.,

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