Lighthouse Beacons from Scotland

Auskerry Lighthouse

Photo by Des Colhoun via Wikimedia

The lighthouse lights the north entrance to the Stronsay Firth in Orkney. It was built in 1866 by engineers David and Thomas Stevenson. It is attached to two flats; the lower one is used all year as a store and the top one is used mainly in summer.

The Hastings County, a 116 metre Norwegian cargo ship ran ashore on north west of Auskerry in 1926 during thick fog. The vessel broke in half and wreckage is spread over a wide area, with the engine on the beach.

Auskerry itself is a small, flat, red sandstone islet, 3 miles (5 km) south of Stronsay. There is an ancient standing stone and a medieval chapel showing the signs of an early settlement. After the automation of the lighthouse in the 1960s, the island was uninhabited for a time but has been occupied for 30 years by a family who keep a flock of rare North Ronaldsay sheep. There are three small wind turbines and four solar panels on the island, which provide most of the power.

After a series of expansions and renovations, the single roomed stone bothy is now a modern house with four bedrooms, kitchen, shower room and living room. The chemical toilet is outdoors due to the complication of installing septic tanks. Mail is delivered from Stronsay, once a month, by a fishing boat.

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