Eilean Glas Lighthouse

Eilean Glas Lighthouse is situated on the east coast of the island of Scalpay in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It was one of the original four lights commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Lights, and the first in the Hebrides[1] (the others were Kinnaird Head, Mull of Kintyre and North Ronaldsay). These lighthouses were built by Thomas Smith.[1]

Eilean Glas Lighthouse
Eilean Glas lighthouse
Outer Hebrides
Lewis and Harris
Outer Hebrides
Coordinates57.856916°N 6.642069°W / 57.856916; -6.642069
Year first constructed1789 (first)
Year first lit1824 (current by Robert Stevenson)
Deactivated1824 (first)
Constructionmasonry tower (current)
stone tower (first)
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patterntower with red and white bands, black lantern
Tower height30 metres (98 ft)
Focal height43 metres (141 ft)
Current lenscatoptric sealed beam lamps
Intensity400,000 candela
Range23 nautical miles (43 km; 26 mi)
CharacteristicFl (3) W 20s.
Admiralty numberA3990
NGA number3868
ARLHS numberSCO-069
Managing agentNorthern Lighthouse Board[2][3]
Heritagecategory A listed building 

Eilean Glas light was first displayed in 1789. The original tower was replaced in 1824 by Smith's stepson Robert Stevenson. In 1852 the light was changed to a revolving system lens. The lighthouse was an early candidate for automation and this was carried out in 1978. Several of the original buildings have been sold off.[1] The fog signal was discontinued in the 1980s although the horn remains in place as a decoration.

The 30-metre (98 ft) tower is painted with two distinctive broad red bands. Light is now from catoptric sealed beam lamps, (similar to car head lights) mounted on a gearless pedestal.[1]

In 2004, the owners of the lighthouse building were convicted of theft and of running a fraudulent charity to pay for the mortgage on the property.[4] Their 3-year sentence was later reduced to 2 years at the Court of Appeal.[5] The local community of Scalpay are currently attempting a community buyout.[6]

See also


  1. "Eilean Glas Lighthouse". Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  2. Eilean Glas The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 18 May 2016
  3. Eilean Glas Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 18 May 2016
  4. "Couple jailed for lighthouse scam". BBC News. 30 April 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  5. "Lighthouse fraud battle continues". BBC News. 23 September 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  6. "Islanders offered home as a 'free gift' from London owner" Senscot, quoting The Press and Journal of 18 Feb 2011. Retrieved 11 Mar 2011.

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