Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Lewis, Arnish Point Lighthouse

Lighthouse (19th Century)

Site Name Lewis, Arnish Point Lighthouse

Classification Lighthouse (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Stornoway Lighthouse; Rubha Airinis; Stornoway Harbour; Cala Steornabhaigh

Canmore ID 4324

Site Number NB43SW 20

NGR NB 43250 30828

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Lochs
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Recording Your Heritage Online

Arnish Point Lighthouse, Alan Stevenson, 1852 Stevenson's last lighthouse had the novelty of being the Northern Lighthouse Board's first prefabricated lighthouse, built of iron lined with timber, with keepers' cottages to the north west. It stands sentinel over Stornoway Harbour, built c.1780-5, though Knox observed in 1786 that no quay was being used and that vessels loaded and unloaded on the beach. By the turn of the 18th century a sea wall had been built to allow for the development of North Beach and Cromwell Street as proper thoroughfares. Under the proprietorship of Sir James Matheson, who founded the Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission in 1865, a new pier by D. T. Stevenson had been built on South Beach by 1851, extended to serve a regular steamer service in the 1880s, and a dock with steam-operated patent slip, stone and concrete quays such as Esplanade Quay, and timber wharves constructed. Castellated ramparts went up along the west side of the harbour to define the policies of Lews Castle. By the turn of the century, a concrete breakwater was completed, while in the 1930s reinforced concrete wharves were built in front of North Beach and Esplanade Quays, and the inner harbour deepened. By c.1940 all original harbour works had been replaced. New Ferry Terminal, Wylie Shanks and Hamilton McWiggan Partnership, 1998 An octagonal landmark suggestive of the old fish mart (1897, demolished 1972) on a large area of reclaimed land which has greatly altered the character of Stornoway's harbour front.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NB43SW 20.00 43250 30828

Lighthouse [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1985.

NB43SW 20.01 43186 30806 Attendant's House

For beacon on Reef Rock (160m to NE, at NB 43329 30971), see NB43SW 225.

(Location cited as NB 433 308). Arnish Point Lighthouse, built 1852 by engineer Alan Stevenson. A short tapering circular-section tower with a range of single-storey keepers' cottages.

J R Hume 1977.

This island lighthouse is situated near the end of Arnish Point (Rubha Airinis), from where it guards the W side of the broad entrance to Stornoway harbour (Cala Steornabhaigh) from the S.

It was constructed in 1852, being the first pre-fabricated tower built by the Northern Lighthouse Board. The tower of iron plates was cast at Renfrew, and was unusually cold in winter. It was the last lighthouse for which Alan Stevenson was the engineer responsible.

It became a major automatic light in 1963.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 26 August 2008.

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


Construction (1852)

Light established in 1852.

K Allardyce 1998

Modification (1963)

Light automated in 1963.

K Allardyce 1998


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions