Lighthouse Beacons from Scotland

Dunnet Head

Photo by Gordon McKinlay via Wikimedia

Although John o' Groat is sometimes referred to as the most northerly place in mainland Scotland, Dunnet Head is actually over two miles further north. The nearest town is Thurso. The station was built in 1831. James Smith of Inverness was the contractor responsible for the building, designed by engineer Robert Stevenson. The views from the lighthouse are spectacular with the Orkney Islands straight ahead nearly 7 miles across the Pentland Firth.

Erosion of the rock on which the original fog signal (built in 1899) stood, made it necessary to abandon it and to establish another fog signal nearer the lighthouse. A third fog signal was established in 1952, but this was discontinued in 1987.

The Queen Mother visited Dunnet Head lighthouse on several occasions, the last being on 8 October 1979 when Mr Malcolm, Principal Lightkeeper, gave a conducted tour of the station and she met the other lightkeepers and their families residing at that time at the station.

The lighthouse was automated on 31 March 1989 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

The picture here of Dunnet Head itself is from "Postdif" via Wikimedia.

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