Tiumpan Head Lighthouse

The Tiumpan Head Lighthouse is an active lighthouse located in Tiumpan Head, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Tiumpan Head Lighthouse
Rubha Tiompan
Tiumpan Head Lighthouse
Outer Hebrides
LocationTiumpan Head
Isle of Lewis
Outer Hebrides
Coordinates58°15′39.33″N 6°8′20.09″W
Year first constructed1900
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Tower height21 metres (69 ft)
Focal height55 metres (180 ft)
Light sourcemains power
Range25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi)
CharacteristicFl (2) W 15s.
Fog signaldiscontinued
Admiralty numberA3972
NGA number3824
ARLHS numberSCO-242
Managing agentTiumpan Head Kennels & Cattery[1] [2]
Heritagecategory C listed building 


The idea for the Tiumpan Head Lighthouse in the village of Portvoller in Point, Isle of Lewis was long promoted, but refused for many years by the Board of Trade. After a recommendation by the Western Highlands and Islands Commission to additionally keep a watch on illegal trawlers, it was approved in May 1879.[3]

The lighthouse and building were designed by David and Charles Stevenson and built by John Aitken, at an estimated cost of £9000. William Frew was appointed as inspector of works. Chance Brothers made the optics and Dove and Co. the revolving machine. The light was first exhibited on 1 December 1900.

Six lightkeepers were attached to the station, three lightkeepers and their families at the station, with a local assistant and two occasional lightkeepers coming in from Portnaguran village nearby.

Elizabeth II visited the lighthouse in 1956, with the young Duke of Cornwall and the Princess Anne. The seven-year-old heir to the throne sounded the first blast on a new fog siren. The fog signal was operated by compressed air supplied from a compressor, driven by a Kelvin Diesel engine. There were three Kelvin engines and compressors, and when the fog signal was in operation, two of them were in service to maintain the required air pressure with one standby, in rotation. In 1984, the fog signal was discontinued and the fog horn building was demolished.

The lighthouse was automated in 1985 and is monitored from Edinburgh. The former keepers' accommodation is no longer needed and is now home to kennels and a cattery.[4]

See also


  1. Tiumpan Head The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 21 May 2016
  2. Tiumpan Head Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 21 May 2016
  3. "Tiumpan Head". Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  4. "Tiumpan Head". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 15 January 2011.

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