Pladda Lighthouse

Pladda Lighthouse is an active 18th century lighthouse situated at the southern end of the island of Pladda. The lighthouse dates from 1790 and was designed by Thomas Smith. It was the first light on the Clyde to be commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Lights. It had both an upper and a lower light to distinguish it from the three other lighthouses in the Firth of Clyde. In 1876 Pladda was about the third station to have a foghorn. The 'double lights' were replaced by a powerful flashing system in 1901. Lightkeepers were withdrawn in 1990 when the lighthouse was automated; it is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Boards Headquarters in Edinburgh.

Pladda High Lighthouse
Pladda Lighthouse
Firth of Clyde
Coordinates55.425129°N 5.118362°W / 55.425129; -5.118362
Year first constructed1790
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Tower height29 metres (95 ft)
Focal height40 metres (130 ft)
Range17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)
CharacteristicFl (3) W 30s.
Admiralty numberA4326
NGA number4316
ARLHS numberSCO-172
Managing agentNorthern Lighthouse Board[1][2]

The lighthouse tower is 95 feet (29 m) in height; there are 128 steps to the top. Under normal conditions, its light (3 white flashes every 30 seconds) is visible for 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi).[3][4]

Pladda and its lighthouse feature extensively in Peter Hill's book Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper.

See also


  1. Pladda (High) The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 11 May 2016
  2. Pladda Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 11 May 2016
  3. "Northern Lighthouse Board - Pladda". Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. Historic Environment Scotland. "Pladda, Lighthouse (40074)". Canmore. Retrieved 4 August 2012.

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