Ailsa Craig Lighthouse

The Ailsa Craig Lighthouse, is an active 19th century lighthouse located on Ailsa Craig, an island in the Firth of Clyde, just offshore from Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland.

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse
Ailsa Craig Lighthouse
Ailsa Craig shown within South Ayrshire
LocationAilsa Craig
Firth of Clyde
Coordinates55.251898°N 5.108413°W / 55.251898; -5.108413
Year first constructed1886
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern attached to 1-storey keeper's house
Markings / patternwhite tower and lantern
Tower height11 metres (36 ft)
Focal height18 metres (59 ft)
Light sourcesolar power
Range17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)
CharacteristicFl W 4s.
Admiralty numberA4582
NGA number4768
ARLHS numberSCO-002
Managing agentNorthern Lighthouse Board[1] [2]


It was completed in 1886, the construction being overseen by Thomas and David Stevenson.

Initially, the lighthouse used oil-burning lamps, but by 1911, these were replaced with incandescent lighting.

Fog signals were discontinued in 1987. Then, in 1990, the lighthouse was automated, and a refurbishment took place in 2001, when it was converted to run on solar power.

Ailsa Craig is also known as "Paddy's Mile Stone" as it lies halfway between the cities of Glasgow and Belfast. As well as being a local landmark and a well known marine navigational hazard the island is a protected bird sanctuary, sheltering thousands of breeding pairs of sea birds. Other wild life found on and around the island are a colony of grey seals as well as the occasional whale, and more commonly large basking sharks during the summer months. The basking shark is a large but harmless shark: it can often be seen from boats feeding at the surface on the planktonic bloom which grows in great abundance around the British Isles during the warmer months.

In June 2018 the former lighthouse keepers' cottages, now derelict, were placed for sale by auction.

See also


  1. Ailsa Craig Lighthouse The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 8 May 2016
  2. Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Northern Lighthouse Board.Retrieved 8 May 2016

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