Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, built in 1821, is the oldest lighthouse in Shetland.
The engineer was Robert Stevenson, and the builder was John Reid of Peterhead.
The original beacon had 26 reflectors on the light.
The lighthouse has walls of double thickness to keep out the dampness.
Basic Information :
|Name||Sumburgh Head Lighthouse|
|Position||Latitude 59° 51.3’N
Longitude 01° 16.3’W
|Location||On Sumburgh Head, Dunrossness, the south end of the Shetland Mainland|
|Description||A 56 foot high white tower, with 52 steps to the top|
|Built by||Robert Stevenson Snr|
|Character||Flashing (3) white every 30 seconds|
|Nominal Range||23 miles|
|Other information||Foghorn established 1906, discontinued 1987|
Before the foghorn was establised, they had a fogbell at the lighthouse.
The bell had been presented by the parents of Captain Thomas Leslie of the Royal Victoria, a ship that had been abandoned at sea by her crew, most likely to the NW of Shetland on January 19th 1864. One of the lifeboats eventually came ashore in a geo at Scat Ness later in the month, with two survivors, but also the bodies of the Captain and five crewmembers.
The bell is now the church bell in Dunrossness Kirk
The former keepers' houses are now owned by the Shetland Amenity Trust, and in use as self-catering accomodation.
The site is understood to have been that of a much earlier Broch/Fort, the remains of which were removed when a WWII Chain Low Radar Station, one of the earliest in the UK, was constructed. The ruins of the station's concrete buildings still remain on site today.
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