Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Sumburgh Head at the southern tip of the Mainland of Shetland.

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
LocationSumburgh Head
Coordinates59.854053°N 1.274585°W / 59.854053; -1.274585
Year first constructed1821
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Tower height17 metres (56 ft)
Focal height91 metres (299 ft)
Range23 nautical miles (43 km; 26 mi)
CharacteristicFl (3) W 30s.
Admiralty numberA3766
NGA number3320
ARLHS numberSCO-232
Managing agentSumburgh Head Lighthouse[1][2]
Heritagecategory A listed building 


The lighthouse was built by Robert Stevenson in 1821 and is the oldest lighthouse on Shetland.[1] From 1906 until 1987 there was also a foghorn,[2] which is traversable in azimuth. This replaced a fog bell which had been presented after the loss of the Royal Victoria in 1864. The bell now hangs in the parish church at Dunrossness.[2] The light was automated in 1991 and the keepers' houses were converted into holiday accommodation. The lighthouse complex also has offices for the RSPB who look after the bird reserve which surrounds the lighthouse.

The Northern Lighthouse Board operate the light, whilst the Shetland Amenity Trust own the site and plan to restore the lighthouse facilities and build a visitor centre.[1] The lighthouse is protected as a category A listed building.[3]

See also


  1. Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Scotland: Shetland". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  2. Sumburgh Head Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 29 May 2016
  3. Historic Environment Scotland. "Sumburgh Head, Sumburgh Lighthouse...  (Category A) (LB5442)". Retrieved 22 March 2019.

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