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Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders

Date 2007

Event ID 606180

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The first light at Cloch Lighthouse was installed on its completion in 1797 by Robert Stevenson acting for the

Cumbrae Lighthouse Trust’s engineer Thomas Smith. This was four years after the present lighthouse on Little

Cumbrae had been modernised by the Trust.

Cloch light was improved in 1825 and 1903 and, by means of a wireless innovation by C. & D. A. Stevenson

in 1930 which attracted a Royal Society of Arts award, became a talking lighthouse in poor visibility. The light is

no longer used and the building is now a private residence. Ships now use a buoyed channel.

In the 19th century the distance between Cloch and Little Cumbrae lighthouses was used for speed trials. The

practice of ‘Running the Lights’ became an event on the Clyde for any new steamer, and a fast ship could run the Cloch distance of approximately 16 miles in 48 minutes (17.4 knots).

R Paxton and J Shipway

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.

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