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Duncansby Head Lighthouse

Lighthouse (20th Century)

Site Name Duncansby Head Lighthouse

Classification Lighthouse (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Head Of Duncansby, Lighthouse

Canmore ID 9515

Site Number ND47SW 2

NGR ND 40589 73357

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Canisbay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND47SW 2.00 40589 73357

Lighthouse [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1976.

ND47SW 2.01 ND 40614 73356 Foghorn

Location formerly entered as ND 405 733.

Duncansby Head Lighthouse, windpump is now at Biel of Duncansby (ND 389 708): see ND37SE 41.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

(Location cited as ND 407 734). Duncansby Head lighthouse, established 1924, engineer D A Stevenson. A tapering square tower with a castellated parapet and a polygonal lantern. Below the tower is a movable foghorn.

J R Hume 1977.

Duncansby Head Lighthouse, 1924. D A Stevenson. Tapering square tower, with crenellated wallhead and polgonal lantern. Large separately-mounted foghorn.

E Beaton 1996.

Although the provision of a light in this area was considered in the 1830's, that on Noss Head (ND35NE 1.00) was built instead, Duncansby Head saw only the installation of a temporary fog signal during the First World War before the construction of the present lighthouse (by D A Stevenson) in 1924. This lighthouse suffered machine gun fire from German aircraft in 1939, was fitted with a Racon after 1968, and was automated in 1997.

The lighthouse served for a long time as a communications hub for the lighthouse on North Ronaldsay (HY75NE 24) and for the rock stations of Stroma (ND37NE 12), Pentland Skerries (ND47NE 11), Copinsay (HY60SW 7) and Sule Skerry (HX62SW 1).

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


Construction (1924)

Light established in 1924.

K Allardyce 1998

Incident (1939)

Damaged by machine gun fire.

K Allardyce and E M Hood 1986

Modification (1997)


K Allardyce 1998


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