One suggestion is that the name "Lady" is actually derived from the Scottish Gaelic word Laidh, meaning a 'vessel's course'. Lady Isle has probably always been important to navigators as is shown by the fact that in the 17th century, the Magistrates of Glasgow built two stone pillars on the Isle, and lining them up from the east gave a good anchorage from a north west gale.
In June, 1821, someone set fire to the "turf and pasture", and this act permanently destroyed the island's grazing, with gales blowing much of the island's soil into the sea. It is only slowly recovering. In June 1829, the Isle was let to Mr. William Fullarton of Skeldon, who restocked the Isle with rabbits. Fullarton built a house or lodge of some sort. The building was broken into several times and eventually a family of fishermen from Troon were arrested, tried and given a relatively small fine.
Lady Isle is home to an interesting lighthouse. Established in 1903 the lighthouse is not the standard round tower type but rather consists of a platform built on buttresses with an exterior stairwell. The light is still used as a navigational aid and is managed by the Northern Lighthouse Board. An X/S Band Radar Beacon radar beacon, with S Band emissions restricted to landward is also on the lighthouse. A small wooden storage hut sits beside the lighthouse, rather oddly inscribed Social Security Appeals Tribunal. A large white horizontal cylinder used to hold the gas supply for the lighthouse light which was converted to electricity during the refurbishment and solarisation in around 2004. Regarding the approach to the island, mariners have to beware the drying rock all around the island up to 2 cables to the northeast.
South of the lighthouse is a conical rubblestone tower about 10 meters tall that is believed to have served as a daybeacon before the lighthouse was built.Lady Isle is a small, uninhabited island, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It was once home to a chapel endowed by John Blair in 1446 and dedicated to Saint Mary. It lies 2 miles [3.2 km] SouthWest of Troon. The island is around 0.6 kilometers (650 yards) along its length and rises to a maximum height of just 6 meters (20 feet). Around 1776, the town of Glasgow set up a pair of beacons on Lady Isle to indicate the position of the anchorage, which was situated to the east or inshore, for the benefit of vessels serving Glasgow merchants. The lighthouse was later built on the site of one of the beacons and the remaining 18th-century 'beacon' when aligned with the lighthouse continued to allow mariners to follow a safe course to a sheltered anchorage. In addition to providing shelter for smaller vessels en route to Irvine, those with a tonnage of over 220 tons, too large to enter Irvine harbour, could also find anchorage in 10 to 14 fathoms [18 to 26m] in an area east of, and sheltered by Lady Isle. Mariners have to beware the drying rock (known as Half tide rock) all around the island up to 2 cables to the northeast. The graphic on the right (via Wikimedia Commons) shows sunset over the island looking towards the Isle of Arran. The Half tide rock is visible to the right hand side. Lady Isle is owned by the Marquess of Ailsa and was for many years leased out as a bird sanctuary with a bird observatory and warden's post built and run by the Scottish Society for the Protection of Wild Birds (SSPWB). Established in 1903, the lighthouse is not the standard round tower type but rather consists of a platform built on buttresses with an exterior stairwell. The light is still used as a navigational aid and is managed by the Northern Lighthouse Board. A large white horizontal cylinder used to hold the gas supply for the lighthouse light which was converted to electricity during the refurbishment and solarisation in around 2004.
Character: Fl W 2s 19m 11M
(fl. 0.5s - ec. 1.5s)
|Engineer||David Alan Stevenson (1854-1938)|
|Charles Stevenson (1855-1950)|
|Lat, Lon||55°31.629' N, 04°44.033' W|
|Character||Flashing White every 2 secs.|
|Range||20.3 km / 11 nM|
|Elevation||19 meters above sealevel|
|Authority||Northern Lighthouse Board|
|White tower with red vertical stripe|