At the most westerly point on the British mainland, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse has been guiding ships safely through the waters off Scotland’s west coast since 1849.
The light tower soars to a height of 36 metres above the rocks, and was built in 1849 using granite from the Island of Mull. 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. Like all the other lighthouses in Scotland, Ardnamurchan now operates automatically, but the tower remains fully operational and still plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of all ships navigating the waters off Scotland’s west coast.
On the morning of 22 January 1852 there was severe storm and lightning struck the tower causing broken panes and plaster to come off the walls. Fifty feet of boundary wall was knocked down and 40 feet of road was washed away by the heavy seas. The keepers boat was broken up although they had secured it 15 feet above the last known high water mark.
The lighthouse was automated in 1988 and is now remotely monitored from the Board’s headquarters in Edinburgh.
The former keepers cottages and outbuildings are now privately operated as the Ardnamurchan Visitors Centre.
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