01/12/2018
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On this day in history - Scotland's first modern lighthouse was lit

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On 1 December 1787, Scotland's first modern lighthouse, at Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh, was lit for the first time. Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson designed the lighthouse which was built on top of a sixteenth-century castle and became the first lighthouse in Scotland to be lit by the Commissioners of Northern Lights.

The location was chosen because the area, on Scotland’s north east coast, was notorious for its treacherous seas and underwater rocks. The lighthouse burned whale oil as fuel and comprised seventeen reflectors - its powerful light could be seen up to fourteen miles away.

In 1929, Kinnaird Head became the site of Scotland's first radio beacon and an automatic light was installed at the lighthouse in 1991. The lighthouse is now the site of the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

QUICK LINK: Visit a Scottish lighthouse

(image copyright Otter)

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