Butt of Lewis
The Butt of Lewis (Scottish Gaelic: Rubha Robhanais) is the most northerly point of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The headland, which lies in the North Atlantic, is frequently battered by heavy swells and storms and is marked by the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse. The nearest populated area is the village of Eoropie, about 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south.
The road to the lighthouse passes a sheltered cove called Port Stoth. Agricultural lazy beds are also visible along the coast. The Butt of Lewis features some of the oldest rocks in Europe, having been formed in the Precambrian period up to 3000 million years ago. Southwest from the lighthouse is a natural arch called the "Eye of the Butt" (Scottish Gaelic: Sùil an Rubha), best viewed from the Habost machair.
David Stevenson, who was at the time Engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board, built the lighthouse in 1862. Little is known of the Station's early days, though the first light displayed was probably fixed rather than flashing, but this is not certain. A plaque in the Lightroom indicates that the present equipment was installed in 1905, when the characteristics of the light was one flash every twenty seconds. In 1869, paraffin is known to have replaced the vegetable or fish oil hitherto used as the light source, and indeed continued in use until 1976, when it in turn was replaced by electricity.
The light is fixed, and sits inside a large lens; (in effect a giant magnifying glass). The lens revolves around the light, thus giving the familiar flashing effect.
The station became the Radar link for the keepers on the isolated Flannan Islands in the early 1930's, and continued to function as such until 1971, when the Flannans was demanned, and the light made automatic. Today, the Butt of Lewis acts as the monitoring station for the automatic light on the Flannans, North Rona and Sula Sgeir and is the Radar control station for the North Minch area.
The Butt of Lewis was manned by three Keepers who lived at the Station with their families. The Station's claim to fame, according to the "Guinness Book of Records" some years ago is that it was the windiest spot in the United Kingdom.
The fog signal at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse was discontinued in 31 March 1995.
The Butt of Lewis Lighthouse was automated on 30 March 1998 and is now remotely monitored from the Board’s headquarters in Edinburgh.
The Butt of Lewis is also one the General Lighthouse Authorities transmitting stations for Differential GPS.
Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, designed by David Stevenson, was built at Butt of Lewis to aid vesselping in the 1860s. Unusual for a lighthouse in Scotland, it is constructed of red brick, and is unpainted. The station was automated in 1998, one of the last to have been converted. A modern differential GPS base station has now been sited on a nearby hill to further aid navigation. This hill was also the site for a Lloyd's Signal Station from the 1890s.
The road to the lighthouse passes a sheltered cove called Port Stoth. Agricultural lazy beds are also visible along the coast. The Butt of Lewis features some of the oldest rocks in Europe, having been formed in the Precambrian period up to 3000 million years ago. Following the coast southwest from the lighthouse there is a natural arch called the "Eye of the Butt" (Scottish Gaelic: Sùil an Rubha). It can be best viewed from the Habost machair.