Historic lighthouses up and down Scotland to be reviewed by Historic Environment Scotland

17 October 2019
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced it will undertake a review of listed and unlisted lighthouses owned by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), as part of a year-long project during 2020.`

As part of the project, HES will update existing listed building records for lighthouses and explore unlisted lighthouses to determine if they meet the criteria to become listed; listing celebrates historic buildings and ensures that their special interest is considered in the planning process.

The research will be undertaken using information and photographs from NLB’s collection held in the National Record of the Historic Environment and will be a major project throughout Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Our lighthouse heritage

Mike Bullock, Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, said: “We place a great deal of importance on the preservation and sharing of our remarkable history and we are delighted to be working on this project with HES during Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. Many of our lighthouses are now over 200 years old but they continue to serve the same purpose as when they were built – to guide all mariners safely through Scottish and Isle of Man waters."

“It will be enormously helpful to determine the appropriate listed status for our lights built in the 1970s and 1980s. Architecturally, they might be very different structures to the Stevenson lighthouses but they are very much a part of our lighthouse heritage.”

What will the process involve?

Philip Robertson, Deputy Head of Designations at HES, explained what will happen during the project: “There are around 150 listed lighthouses throughout the country, and they are not only wonderful landmarks but also a testament to Scotland’s exceptional engineering achievements."

“There are a range of lighthouses which have never been assessed for listing, including some dating from the 1970s and 1980s, so we’re really excited to look at these structures for the first time and explore their potential."

“By reviewing and updating the records of these fascinating buildings, we will be able to offer more information about what makes them special to help their future care and maintenance.”

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Browse the NLB collection in the HES archive here.

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(report courtesy of Historic Environment, image copyright P Capper and shows Ardgour Lighthouse, Lochaber)