Berneray

Lighthouses of the Outer Hebrides

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
Eilean Glas - Scalpay
Flag of Scotland
© Composted by:
Bob Schrage
updated: 01-10-2018

Eilean Glas



Under construction

Description 2 circular lighthouse towers, main tower designed by Robert Stevenson circa 1825 superseding 1789 tower; 1789 house adjoining original tower converted to store also probably 1825; high enclosure wall; 2 parallel detached ranges of single storey keeper's cottages to north probably by Alan Stevenson circa 1845; jetty to northwest; outbuildings; foghorn to south at Rudh' an Eorna. Most buildings whitewashed. ORIGINAL LIGHTHOUSE: probably lowered in height, lantern replaced by shallow-pitched roof circa 1825. MAIN LIGHTHOUSE: 5-stage tower with bands between stages, painted red and white. Small oculi in narrow top band under cantilevered platform with lattice guard rails. Lantern with diamond glazing and domed cap. STORE: originally 2 storeys; converted probably by Alan Stevenson 1845 to single storey keepers' cottages. Rubble-built with long and short dressings to doors and windows. Simple parapet and flat roof. Tall stacks. KEEPERS' COTTAGES: range to north east now 2 cottages (originally 3) in Graeco-Egyptian manner. Built of squared whin rubble with granite dressings. Bold ramped doorpieces with cavetto cornices and stepped blocking courses, outer bays similarly detailed but with windows (one later door). Sash and case windows with 8-pane glazing pattern. Main cornice and blocking course. Tall battered stacks with splayed cornices, 4 central stacks grouped, outer 2 paired. Flat roof. Range to north west 8 bays with principal house and old engine room. Statement of Special Interest This is a classic example of a lighthouse complex which encompasses the lighthouse, accommodation for the keepers and their families, means of transport with the jetty and a means of subsistence with fields and walled garden. It forms a distinctive grouping in a remarkable setting. This site also documents the development of the lighthouse with the earlier tower being one of the first 4 lighthouses commissioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board, which had been formed 3 years earlier. The other 3 lighthouses being Kinnaird?s Head at Fraserburgh, Dennis Head on North Ronaldsay and the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse. The lamp was first lit on October 16th 1789, a plaque on the original keeper's house mentions Alexander Reid, the first keeper who came in 1789 and stayed for 35 years. The Egyptian style of the keepers' cottage is also of architectural interest and was later used at the Ardnamurchan lighthouse keepers' cottages. They retain their original brass door hinges which are marked with 'NLB'. Upgraded to category A March 2004. Captain Alex McLeod of Harris, the owner of Scalpay, on being approached by the original Northern Lighthouse Trustees in 1787, engaged the services of his local Tacksman, a Mr Campbell to provide the necessary building material and to engage the services of local workmen. He also recommended Mr Campbell as a suitable person for the supervision of the work. The Trustees indicated that they did not require Mr Campbell's services other than for the procurement of building materials and made arrangements to send their own masons to erect the Lighthouse. However, Captain McLeod did in fact engage Mr Campbell and his local workmen to lay the foundations and raise the Tower Wall to a height of seven feet in the summer of 1787. It appears that the Trustees' masons had still been engaged in the building of Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse and to avoid a further year's delay McLeod had taken it upon himself to start work on the Scalpay Lighthouse. However, the Trustees' masons, all of whom hailed from the Edinburgh area (George Shiells who received 4/2d and John William Purdie who received 3/- per working day) arrived at Scalpay in the summer of 1788 to carry on the building work, finally completing it in October of that year. The Trustees' engineer, Thomas Smith, had found, on preliminary inspection visit, that McLeod's men and made the circumference of the tower four feet greater than as shown on the plans but to save time and expense, authorised Shiells to proceed on this larger scale. The work on the interior of the building was entrusted to one Archie McVicar, Joiner, of North Uist. In April 1789 the "Kelly and Nelly" a vessel from Wick was chartered to convey to Smith and his workmen to both North Ronaldsay to fit their respective lighting equipment. Alex Reid, a sailor from Fraserburgh who had been chosen to be the first keeper at Scalpay, was picked up with his family on the way. The lantern and lighting equipment were finally installed that summer and the light on Scalpay first exhibited on 10 October 1789. The present tower was erected in 1824 when Robert Stevenson was sole engineer to the Board. Eilean Glas was one of the first 4 lighthouses built in Scotland. The lightroom had to be raised 25 feet above ground level to bring it to 73 feet above the sea. When Alexander Reid, the first lightkeeper at Eilean Glas, was pensioned off with an annuity of forty guineas in 1823, the engineer reported him as "weatherbeaten and stiff by long exposure on the Point of Glas". In 1852 the light was changed to a revolving system lens. The tower is painted with two broad red bands to distinguish it as a day mark. The fog signal was installed in 1907, its character at the time being 1 blast of 7 seconds every 1½ minutes. The character of the light was also changed to flashing. The fog signal was eventually discontinued in 1987. Eilean Glas Lighthouse takes its name from Glas Island, Scalpay. In 1978 the Lighthouse was converted to automatic operation at a cost of £83,565. The old lens and machine have been handed over to the Royal Scottish Museum for public exhibition. The Lighthouse is now fitted with an Electric Dynamic Logic Alarm and in the event of failure it automatically telephones the office and reports the fault. The light source is catoptric sealed beam lamps, similar to car head lights with the lamp arrays mounted on a gearless pedestal. It should be noted that at some sites the Northern Lighthouse Board have sold some redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these building.

At Eilean Glas Lighthouse in the Western Isles, Stevenson added a second tower near the 1789 one built by Smith, which it replaced. Stevenson's structure is 29.9m tall and painted with alternate horizontal red and white bands. LET OP: Er heeft eerst een "oude" vuurtoren gestaan - Uitzoeken Eilean Glas lies on the west coast of Scalpay at NG247948. The island is 300 meters (984 ft) long and rises no more than 30 meters (98 ft) above sea level. The island projects out considerably into The Minch vesselping lane, which is likely why it was decided to place the Eilean Glas Lighthouse here. A track across the narrow isthmus connects Eilean Glas to Scalpay. More recently, a radio mast was erected on Eilean Glas. Eilean Glas Lighthouse is situated on the east coast of the island of Scalpay in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It was one of the original four lights commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Lights, and the first in the Hebrides[1] (the others were Kinnaird Head, Mull of Kintyre and North Ronaldsay). These lighthouses were built by Thomas Smith.[1] Eilean Glas light was first displayed in 1789. The original tower was replaced in 1824 by Smith's stepson Robert Stevenson. In 1852 the light was changed to a revolving system lens. The lighthouse was an early candidate for automation and this was carried out in 1978. Several of the original buildings have been sold off.[1] The fog signal was discontinued in the 1980s although the horn remains in place as a decoration. The 30-metre (98 ft) tower is painted with two distinctive broad red bands. Light is now from catoptric sealed beam lamps, (similar to car head lights) mounted on a gear less pedestal.[1] In 2004, the owners the lighthouse building were convicted of theft and of running a fraudulent charity to pay for the mortgage on the property.[4] Their 3-year sentence was later reduced to 2 years at the Court of Appeal.[5] The local community of Scalpay are currently attempting a community buyout.[6][needs update] Captain Alex McLeod of Harris, the owner of Scalpay, on being approached by the original Northern Lighthouse Trustees in 1787, engaged the services of his local Tacksman, a Mr Campbell to provide the necessary building material and to engage the services of local workmen. He also recommended Mr Campbell as a suitable person for the supervision of the work. The Trustees indicated that they did not require Mr Campbell's services other than for the procurement of building materials and made arrangements to send their own masons to erect the Lighthouse. However, Captain McLeod did in fact engage Mr Campbell and his local workmen to lay the foundations and raise the Tower Wall to a height of seven feet in the summer of 1787. It appears that the Trustees' masons had still been engaged in the building of Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse and to avoid a further year's delay McLeod had taken it upon himself to start work on the Scalpay Lighthouse. However, the Trustees' masons, all of whom hailed from the Edinburgh area (George Shiells who received 4/2d and John William Purdie who received 3/- per working day) arrived at Scalpay in the summer of 1788 to carry on the building work, finally completing it in October of that year. The Trustees' engineer, Thomas Smith, had found, on preliminary inspection visit, that McLeod's men and made the circumference of the tower four feet greater than as shown on the plans but to save time and expense, authorised Shiells to proceed on this larger scale. The work on the interior of the building was entrusted to one Archie McVicar, Joiner, of North Uist. In April 1789 the "Kelly and Nelly" a vessel from Wick was chartered to convey to Smith and his workmen to both North Ronaldsay to fit their respective lighting equipment. Alex Reid, a sailor from Fraserburgh who had been chosen to be the first keeper at Scalpay, was picked up with his family on the way. The lantern and lighting equipment were finally installed that summer and the light on Scalpay first exhibited on 10 October 1789. The present tower was erected in 1824 when Robert Stevenson was sole engineer to the Board. Eilean Glas was one of the first 4 lighthouses built in Scotland. The lightroom had to be raised 25 feet above ground level to bring it to 73 feet above the sea. When Alexander Reid, the first lightkeeper at Eilean Glas, was pensioned off with an annuity of forty guineas in 1823, the engineer reported him as "weatherbeaten and stiff by long exposure on the Point of Glas". In 1852 the light was changed to a revolving system lens. The tower is painted with two broad red bands to distinguish it as a day mark. The fog signal was installed in 1907, its character at the time being 1 blast of 7 seconds every 1½ minutes. The character of the light was also changed to flashing. The fog signal was eventually discontinued in 1987. Eilean Glas Lighthouse takes its name from Glas Island, Scalpay. In 1978 the Lighthouse was converted to automatic operation at a cost of £83,565. The old lens and machine have been handed over to the Royal Scottish Museum for public exhibition. The Lighthouse is now fitted with an Electric Dynamic Logic Alarm and in the event of failure it automatically telephones the office and reports the fault. The light source is catoptric sealed beam lamps, similar to car head lights with the lamp arrays mounted on a gearless pedestal. It should be noted that at some sites the Northern Lighthouse Board have sold some redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these building. General Details and Location Category AT RISK Name of Building Eilean Glas Lighthouse Complex: Foghorn Other Name(s) Address Isle of Scalpay Locality Postcode HS4 3YH Planning Authority Eilean Siar Divisional Area Lewis and Harris Reference No 4732 Listing Category A OS Grid Ref NG 24743 94699 Location Type Remote HS Reference No 13487 Description The fog signal was installed in 1907, its character at the time being 1 blast of 7 seconds every 1½ minutes. The fog signal was eventually discontinued in 1987. (NLB) The foghorn is set on a pivoting rail, with nearby associated compressed air tanks. Part of a lighthouse complex with circular lighthouse towers, main tower designed by Robert Stevenson circa 1825 superseding 1789 tower. This is a classic example of a lighthouse complex which encompasses the lighthouse, accommodation for the keepers and their families, means of transport with the jetty and a means of subsistence with fields and walled garden. It forms a distinctive grouping in a remarkable setting. This site also documents the development of the lighthouse with the earlier tower being one of the first 4 lighthouses commissioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board, which had been formed 3 years earlier. The lamp was first lit on October 16th 1789, a plaque on the original keeper's house mentions Alexander Reid, the first keeper who came in 1789 and stayed for 35 years. (Historic Scotland) Building Dates 1907 Architects Unknown Category of Risk and Development History Condition Poor Category of Risk Low Exemptions to State of Risk Field Visits 15/03/2010, 11/6/2015 Development History May 2005: Western Isles Council Community Co-ordinator for Harris contacts SCT nominating buildings on the complex for inclusion on the Register, noting the buildings condition has deteriorated over the last 10 years. The Stevenson lighthouse was automated by the NLB in 1978, much of the remaining buildings were surplus to requirements and later sold. A charity set up to restore the former lighthouse complex was removed from The Charity Commission's register in 2001 and later faced legal difficulties reported upon by various media outlets. The Scalpay community formed the Eilean Glas Heritage Trust in 2004 with a view to purchasing the redundant buildings at the complex from the Friends of Eilean Glas Trust. March 2010: External inspection finds a very impressive foghorn which has suffered the effects of the weather. The continuing decay of metal components is a serious issue. September 2010: SCT is advised that volunteer work continues at the site painting the complex and carrying out other maintenance. 30 January 2015: The North Harris Trust, a community owned estate, gifted the island of Scalpay by its former private landlord, contacts RCAHMS noting concerns expressed at the condition of buildings within the Eilean Glas lighthouse complex at their public meeting held 4 Nov 2014. The Trust retains an interest in potentially acquiring the site from the private owner,should the buildings be marketed for sale, through Community Right to Buy as provided within the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. The Trust is working towards submitting an application to register their interest in the site in the Register of Community Interest in Land (RCIL). 11 June 2015: Inspection finds the structure remains in much the same condition as seen previously - subject to slow deterioration, especially the metal work including the compressed air tanks. 9 September 2015: BARR is contacted by a representative of new Scottish charity the Eilean Glas Trust. The buildings are advised as being in partial use as storage space and that maintenance of the site is ongoing whilst the new charity identifies a restoration plan and secures funding towards this. As the Eilean Glas Trust intends to restore the complex the site is not available for sale. The Trust has initiated discussions with both the North Harris Trust and with the local planning authority. The buildings are in the ownervessel of a private trust, Friends of Eilean Glas Trust, with a Scottish charity the Eilean Glas Trust set up to pursue the restoration of the site. Guides to Development Conservation Area Planning Authority Contact Isla Macarthur PAC Telephone Number 08456 007090 Availability Current Availability Not Available Appointed Agents Price Occupancy Part Occupancy Type Owner Present/Former Uses Name of Owners Friends of Eilean Glas Trust Type of Ownervessel Charity/Trust

A3990


Character: Fl(3) W 20s 43m 23M

EngineerOld: Thomas Smit (1752-1815)
New: Robert Strevenson (1772-1850)

Lat, Lon57°51.414' N, 06°38.522' W

EstablishedOld: 1789 - New: 1824
Automated1978
CharacterFlashing White every 3 secs.
Range42.6 km / 23 nM
Tower30 meters
Elevation43 meters above sea level
Fog horn1907 - 1987, 1 blast 7s every 90s

StatusOperational
AuthorityNorthern Lighthouse Board
RemarksCandelpower 400.000 cd.
Cat.A listed - nr: 13487 - 30/03/1994

Eilan Glas lighthouse
Eilan Glas lighthouse
Eilan Glas map
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