The lighthouse was built in 1886 by Thomas and David A. Stevenson and became the first automated lighthouse in Scotland when the two lighthouse keepers were withdrawn in 1894.
The light was operated using gas delivered weekly from Granton Gasworks on the mainland and controlled by a clockwork timer to turn the light as required. An attending boatman delivered the gas and wound up the timer each week.
Originally lit by an oil burner and attended by keepers, it became the first of the Scottish lighthouses to be automated when it was converted to gas in 1894. The concrete platform was erected on the rock for the 3 gas holders, which were fitted fortnightly from Granton works. Oxcars is still powered by gas (1999) and retains its original lens, together with almost all of its original fittings (probably because it was automated so early).
The lighthouse interior: storage area to lower floor. Living/sleeping areas on upper floors; living area below; twin bunkrooms above; each with pair of box or built-in bunk beds and fitted cupboards/drawers. Boarded timber panelling to both living/sleeping floors and inside murette at base of lantern.
Circular cast-iron vents to murette; circular cast-iron post to centre supports glass reflective lens in lantern above. Plaque attached to post recording details of lens 'DIOPTRIC FIXED LIGHT APPARATUS designed by T & D Stevenson, Engineers. Barbiere & Finestre, Paris & Dove & Co Edinburgh, Manufacturers, 1885. Cast-iron grille walkway around lens. Timber floors, lower one reinforced with cast-iron beams at later date (?1894) and hole inserted for hoisting gas cylinders. Cast-iron stepladders between levels.
Character: Fl(2) WR 7s 15m 13-12M
(fl. 0.5s - ec. 19.5s)
|Engineer||Thomas Stevenson (1818-1887)|
|David Alan Stevenson (1845-1938)|
|Lat, Lon||56°01.352' N, 03°16.816' W|
|Character||Flashing(2) White/Red every 7 secs.|
|Range||White: 24 km / 13 nM|
|Red: 22.2 km / 12 nM|
|Elevation||15 meters above sealevel|
|Authority||Forth Ports PLC|
|Remarks||Cat.B - nr: 49687 - 24/03/2004|