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Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders

Date 2007

Event ID 606388

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


This lighthouse was erected by the Cumray [sic] Lighthouse Trust set up by the merchants and magistrates of

Glasgow and founded by an Act of 1756 to make navigation safer for vessels plying to and from the Clyde. Besides building a lighthouse, dwelling house and a wharf for landing coals and other materials at Little Cumbrae, a ‘proper fire or light’ was to be maintained ‘in the nightseason’. A circular stone tower about 30 ft high with walls 3 ft thick was built on the highest part of the island, supporting a cage or grate of iron containing an open coal fire. The tower still exists.

This coal light, first exhibited in 1757, was far from efficient but the increased income from shipping dues

enabled a new and improved lighthouse to be built near the coast to the west in 1793 which is still in service.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

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

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