Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Archaeology Notes

Event ID 672631

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NL58SW 7.00 54898 80253

Barra Head Lighthouse [NAT]

OS 1:10,000, 1989.

For building at NL5655 8036, see also NL58SE 44.

BY18: Lit 1833, engineer Robert Stevenson, became automated 1980.

R W Munro 1979; K Allardyce and E M Hood 1986; NMRS MS/595/7.

Name: Barra Head (1830-3)

Location: N56 47 W7 39 Atlantic, W end of Berneray

Designed and built: Robert Stevenson

Light first exhibited: 15 October 1833

Description: circular stone tower, painted white

Height of light above MHW: 682ft (208m)

Height of tower: 59ft (18m)

Light source and characteristics: W Fl (1) ev 15 secs. Electricity: 162,000 cp: 21nm nominal range

Fog warning apparatus: None

Manning: unwatched (automatic since 23 October 1980)

The highest elevation of any British lighthouse. Electric light replaced the acetylene burner in September 1993

C Nicholson 1995.

This stone-built island lighthouse was constructed in 1833, Robert Stevenson being the engineer and James Smith (Inverness) the contractor. It was automated in 1980. When constructed, this was both the highest (683ft asl) and the most fog-bound of all the Northern Lighthouse Board lights. Hot water pipes were installed to heat the lantern in winter.

The lighthouse-keepers' houses (NL58SW 7.01) are adjacent, and the associated shore facilities were at Oban (Pulpit Hill).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 26 August 2008.

R W Munro 1979; K Allardyce and E M Hood 1986; K Allardyce 1998; S Krauskopf 2001.

People and Organisations