My previous posts on lighthouses around the British Coast have proved so popular that I have decided to share even more.
This time I am starting at Rattray Head historically Rattray Point, a headland in Buchan, Aberdeenshire. To the north lies Strathbeg Bay and Rattray Bay is to its south. The 120 foot Rattray Head lighthouse was built on the Ron Rock (“Ron” is the Gaelic for “seal”), part of the Rattray Briggs in 1895. It was built by the engineers and brothers David Alan Stevenson and Charles Alexander Stevenson. In February 1982 it became unmanned and self-working. The lighthouse is accessible by way of a causeway that is usually underwater being only visible at low tide. It is wide enough for a vehicle to cross.
Now for one that seems to have been forgotten in the other lighthouse posts. Still in Scotland but this time way out at the tip of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, due west of Fort William. Its southern coast runs alongside Loch Sunart and the Sound of Mull. The northern coast looks towards the Hebridean islands of Skye, Muck, Eigg and Rhum. The coastlines meet at Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point on the British mainland. The granite tower soars 180 feet above the rocks and was built in 1849 using granite from the Isle of Mull. Once again it was designed by Alan Stevenson, uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, whose family designed most of Scotland’s lighthouses over a period of 150 years. It is the only lighthouse in the world designed in an “Egyptian“ style.
We will be back in Scotland shortly but here’s one from my trip to North Devon. There has been a lighthouse at Bull Point since 1879, as a result of a series of shipwrecks on this length of the coast. The present lighthouse was built in 1972. Bull Point features in the highly influential novel “Tarka the Otter” by Henry Williamson, first published in 1927 and has never been out of print since first publication. It was the place where Tarka, making his way along the coast on the trail of his mate White-tip, first picked up her scent.
The final lighthouse takes us back to Scotland and one visited on my trip to Dumfries and Galloway. Scotland’s second oldest lighthouse is located on the Southerness headland, known as Southerness Point, at the north side of the entrance to Solway Firth. A square tower it was built in 1749, on the instructions of Dumfries Town Council, as a marker to make sure ships passed safely into the Nith estuary. The light was switched off in the mid-1930s and the lighthouse is now disused.
I hope you have enjoyed visiting these further lighthouses around the British coast and who knows there may even be more in the Archives. Keep following to make sure you don’t miss the next series.
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