Lighthouse Beacons from Scotland

Eshaness Lighthouse

Eshaness Lighthouse overlooks the most dramatic coastline in Britain, on the Northmavine peninsula in the north-west of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The name is sometimes rendered as Esha Ness Lighthouse.

A temporary light powerful enough to give warning of the Ve Skerries eight and half miles offshore was erected in 1915 on the Eshaness peninsula on the north-west coast of mainland Shetland. The temporary light was torn down after World War One.

In 1929 engineer David Alan Stevenson designed the permament lighthouse. It was the last Northern Lighthouse Board manned facility designed by a member of the Stevenson family, David A. Stevenson being the engineer for the station.

Photo on the right by David Medcalf via Wikimedia.

It was one of the first lighthouses in Scotland with a square tower which is 12 metres (39 ft) high and was built by David Alan Stevenson, one of the famous 'lighthouse' Stevensons. It was built from concrete because of the unsuitability of local stone. It flashes white every 12 seconds and has a nominal range of 25 nautical miles (46 km). The 37 foot square tower sits on top of a 200 foot cliff. The small house beside the lighthouse was home to only one keeper, which was unusual in that most manned facilities had three keepers.

It became one of the first 'self generating' stations completed by the Northern Lighthouse Board being automated in 1974.

The former lighthouse keepers' accommodation was bought by an American writer, teacher and consultant Sharma Krauskopf in 1999; Sharma lived in Michigan where they are not short of lighthouses, but she had fallen in love with Scotland - and Scottish lighthouses in particular. After losing out on trying to buy three other lighthouse keepers' houses, she and her husband made a successful bid for Eshaness. She then spent part of each year there, using it as a writing retreat and looking after the "Scottish Radiance" Web site. But after more than ten years of trans-Atlantic travel she had to move back to Michigan and reluctantly sold the lighthouse accommodation. But the Shetland Amenity Trust, who took it over to create self-catering holiday accommodation, kindly allocated a month each year to Sharma for life so that she could return there if she wanted. There is a great collection of pictures of Eshaness at the Shetland Amenity Trust - Ehaness Gallery.

Scottish singer songwriter Moira Kerr was invited to Eshamess by Sharma and was inspired to write a song about the lighthouse and the location. The song is included in Moira's album "Tide and Tide" (available from her Web site at Moira Kerr - Time and Tide)


I see you now like it was yesterday
Your rugged sea cliffs rising from the shore
How green your luscious fields after the rain
A memory I'll hold for ever more

Shine on me, shine on me
How I miss you Eshaness
So far across the sea

Souls have been adrift upon the tide
On stormy nights when stars are lost from sight
Spirits have been lifted many times
By your brilliance like a jewel in the night

Shine on me, shine on me
How I miss you Eshaness
So far across the sea

I'll board my ship and head across the foam
To the island ever close to me
Your light will shine and it will guide me home
When I return from far across the sea

Shine on me, shine on me
How I miss you Eshaness
So far across the sea

How I love you Eshaness
So far across the sea

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