Lighthouse Beacons from Scotland

Covesea Skerries Lighthouse

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Covesea Skerries Lighthouse, belonging to the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), is built on top of a small headland on the south coast of the Moray Firth at Covesea, near Lossiemouth, Moray.

Following a storm in the Moray Firth in November 1826 when 16 vessels were sunk, applications were made for lighthouses at Tarbat Ness, on the opposite coast, and at Covesea Skerries. The Commissioners of Northern Light Houses (the precursor of the NLB) and Trinity House felt that a lighthouse at Covesea was unnecessary but this was against public opinion. Many letters and petitions were delivered to them. Eventually, there was a recommendation for a lighthouse on the Craighead with a beacon on Halliman's Skerries, which the Commissioners agreed to. A grid iron tower was erected on the Halliman's Skerries in 1845, and in 1846, the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse was completed. The lighthouse was designed and built by Alan Stevenson, a member of the Stevenson lighthouse engineering dynasty and uncle of the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. The graphic on the right is by Phil Williams, via Wikimedia Commons.

The surrounding walls, because of their height, caused vortices in the yard area in strong winds. This interfered with lightkeepers lookout so the walls were lowered in 1907.

In 1984, the lighthouse was automated being remotely monitored and controlled at the Northern Lighthouse Board's offices in Edinburgh. Originally, the lens was rotated by a clockwork mechanism with gradually descending weights providing the energy. The original lens is on display at the Lossiemouth Fisheries and Community Museum. The graphic on the left from Wikimedia Commons is of the Covesea Skerries lighthouse shining at dusk with the moon above.

The light was extinguished on 2 March 2012 in effect replaced by a North Cardinal navigational lit buoy fitted with X Band Radar Beacon at the north eastern extremity of the Halliman Skerries on 21 February 2012.

Following the discontinuation of the light the Covesea Lighthouse Community Company Limited registered an interest in the Covesea Skerries property This company had been formed by the local business association in Lossiemouth to develop the lighthouse site for tourism. The entire lighthouse complex at Covesea Skerries was sold to the Covesea Lighthouse Community Company. The plan is now to develop the iconic landmark as a major tourism hub to promote local heritage, the area's unique wildlife and environment.

Photo of aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious
passing Covesea Lighthouse by Des Colhoun via Wikimedia Commons

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