Port Patrick

Light's of the Southwest Coast of Scotland

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
Holy Isle near Arran
Flag of Scotland
© Composted by:
Bob Schrage
updated: 03-01-2019

Southerness



associated engineer Peter Milligan (mason) Walter Newall date 1748 - 1749, 1843 - 1844 era Georgian | category Lighthouse | reference NX975544 ICE reference number HEW 2430 Southerness Lighthouse is the second oldest purpose-built lighthouse still in existence in Scotland. The square-based tower was originally built by Dumfries Town Council to guide water traffic through the Nith Estuary and over the treacherous sandbars of the inner Solway Firth. Local mason Peter Milligan constructed the original 9.1m tall stone tower over a rubble-built platform. Its base is 4.4m square with 800mm thick walls. The tower was intended as a marker for vesselping, and although its height was increased to more than 18m by 1795 it was still without lights. A light with a 1.2m diameter facetted glass reflector was placed in the tower between 1787 and 1804. When the Nith Navigation Commission was formed in 1811, it took over management of the structure. The lighting system was improved in 1815, probably with the help of Robert Stevenson. This included a 500mm silvered copper parabolic reflector with Argand lamp. Stevenson's assistant, James Slight, reported in 1837 that the light was visible only over a limited arc for up to 14.5km and recommended further improvements. In 1843-44 the tower was extended, under the supervision of Walter Newall, some 5.5m to its present height, and the distinctive semi-circular light room and gallery added to one side. Two new reflector lights were installed, increasing the visible arc to more than 200 degrees. The light was extinguished in 1867 but reactivated in 1894 at a cost of £250. Upper works of red sandstone were added at the same time. The lighthouse ceased operation in 1936 and is now an historic landmark open to the public. Lantern (1894): James Milne & Sons, Edinburgh Southerness lighthouse is located at the village of Southerness in South West Scotland. It is at present the second oldest lighthouse in Scotland. The lighthouse was commissioned by the Town Council of Dumfries in 1748 to assist in the safe passage though the Solway Firth of vessels heading to the Nith Estuary. At that time roads in South West Scotland were quite sparse so the bulk of trade even between local villages, was carried out by sea. Dumfries was a major port and there were regular connections with Liverpool and, especially, Ireland. Construction was completed in 1749. In 1805 the lighthouse was greatly improved under the guidance of the famous lighthouse engineer Robert Stevenson assisted by James Slight.[1] The lighthouse was raised from its original structure twice, most notably between 1842 and 1844 to a design by Walter Newall. The lighthouse was first lit around 1800 and was decommissioned in 1936. The light was extinguished due to financial reasons between 1867 and 1894. Southerness lighthouse is located at the village of Southerness in South West Scotland. It is at present the second oldest lighthouse in Scotland. The lighthouse was commissioned by the Town Council of Dumfries in 1748 to assist in the safe passage though the Solway Firth of vessels heading to the Nith Estuary. At that time roads in South West Scotland were quite sparse so the bulk of trade even between local villages, was carried out by sea. Dumfries was a major port and there were regular connections with Liverpool and, especially, Ireland. Construction was completed in 1749.

In april 1882, Frances Groome described Southerness like this:
"Southerness, a village in Kirkbean parish, SE Kirkcudbrightshire, at Southerness Point, on the Solway Firth, 10 miles SE of Dalbeattie, and 16 S of Dumfries. It was built some time after the middle of last century by Oswald of Auchencruive near Ayr, in the expectation of its becoming a mining-village and depôt for coal; but the desired mineral having been vainly searched for in the neighbourhood, the village became transmuted into a sea-bathing retreat. Southerness Point screens the W side of the entrance of the estuary of the Nith, and is crowned by a disused lighthouse.—Ord. Sur., sh. 6, 1863."

Southerness Plan

Peter Milligan of Burran mason of 1748 navigational marker pillar; subsequently heightened at instigation of Mrs Oswald of Auchencruive. Became a lighthouse probably circa 1811: raised to present height by Walter Newall 1842-3: disused from 1867 until re-opening 4.8.1894 following thorough modernisation. Tall, slightly battered square-plan lighthouse tower. Painted rubble. 3 angles curved inwards at upper level towards curved and glazed light opening: curved parapet walkway on corbels in front of latter. Segmental- arched and boarded door with iron "yett" at foot of east face. Curved, low-pitched slate roof with apex ventilator. Internal wooden stair.

In 1805 the lighthouse was greatly improved under the guidance of the famous lighthouse engineer Robert Stevenson assisted by James Slight. The lighthouse was raised from its original structure twice, most notably between 1842 and 1844 to a design by Walter Newall. The lighthouse was first lit around 1800 and was decommissioned in 1936. The light was extinguished due to financial reasons between 1867 and 1894.

Built and formerly maintained by Dumfries Town Council. Original pillar contracted to be 30' high, and it was recommended that a beacon be placed on it; 1837 report gives height as 36'. OSA report suggests a "greater advantage were lights placed in it". Marked on Ainslies map of 1797 as a "land mark" (see SRO RHP 37657). "Lighthouse" keeper appointed 1811. Now disused. (Historic Scotland)

Old as it may be, Southerness Lighthouse was soundly built so that over 250 years of Scottish weather have left nary a mark. Local authorities so conduct regular maintenance on what is now a tourist attraction and regional landmark, however, which explains the structure’s attractive coat of whitewash.


AXXXX

Character: (discont.)

EngineerRobert Stevenson (1772-1850)

Lat, Lon54°52.369' N, 03°35.700' W

Established1749 - first lit 1800 (approx.)
AutomatedNo
Character...
Range...
Tower17 meters
Elevation18 meters above sealevel
Fog hornNo

StatusDiscontinued 1931
Authority...
RemarksCat.A listed - nr: 10415 - 04/11/1971

Southerness lighthouse
Southerness lighthouse
Southerness lighthouse
Southerness map
Southerness map
References:

xxxxx- xxxxx