A review of Scotland's historic lighthouses
|In November 2019, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) announced that lighthouses up and down the country will be reviewed for listing as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020. Above: Lismore lighthouse, built in 1833 by Robert Stevenson. Image by tr_7 from Pixabay.|
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced it will undertake a review of listed and unlisted lighthouses owned by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB). As part of the year-long project, in partnership with NLB, HES will update existing listed building records for lighthouses and explore unlisted lighthouses to determine if they meet the criteria to become listed. Research will be undertaken using information and photographs from NLB’s collection held in the National Record of the Historic Environment. The undertaking will be a major project throughout Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.
Buildings listed as having ‘special architectural or historic interest’ form part of the nation’s rich heritage and help to tell the story of Scotland’s past. Listing celebrates these buildings and ensures their special interest is considered in the planning process. As the lead public body for Scotland’s historic environment, HES is responsible for listing buildings, while NLB is responsible for the provision of marine aids to navigation in the waters surrounding Scotland and the Isle of Man, and currently operates and maintains over 200 lighthouses.
Philip Robertson, Deputy Head of Designations at HES, said: "There are around 150 listed lighthouses throughout the country, and they are not only wonderful landmarks but also a testament to Scotland’s exceptional engineering achievements. There are a range of lighthouses which have never been assessed for listing, including some dating from the 1970s and 1980s, so we’re really excited to look at these structures for the first time and explore their potential. By reviewing and updating the records of these fascinating buildings, we will be able to offer more information about what makes them special to help their future care and maintenance."
Jane Ryder, Chair of HES Board, said: "Scotland’s lighthouses are iconic features of our coasts and seas with rich associations with those who have designed them, who have lived and worked in them and those who have and continue to rely on them. With the Year of Coasts and Waters encouraging people to explore Scotland’s coasts, we hope that our project with NLB will highlight the importance that our nation’s unique lighthouses have as part of our community heritage as well as our wider maritime history."
Mike Bullock, Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, said: "We place a great deal of importance on the preservation and sharing of our remarkable history and we are delighted to be working on this project with HES during Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. Many of our lighthouses are now over 200 years old but they continue to serve the same purpose as when they were built – to guide all mariners safely through Scottish and Isle of Man waters. It will be enormously helpful to determine the appropriate listed status for our lights built in the 1970s and 1980s. Architecturally, they might be very different structures to the Stevenson lighthouses but they are very much a part of our lighthouse heritage."
Since the building of Scotland’s first lighthouse in the 17th century, lighthouses have played a crucial role in ensuring safe passage for ships. One of the most famous is the Bell Rock Lighthouse which was built in 1808-11 by Robert Stevenson (Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather) and its construction was an epic feat. It is listed at category A.
 About this article
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Caithness Broch Project.
- Conversion of Blairtum House, Scotland.
- Development of sustainable rural housing in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
- Engaging communities in our Highlands and Islands.
- Lord Leverhulme on Lewis and Harris.
- Orkney gables.
- Macallan Distillery.
- Martello tower.
- Matthew Davidson stonemason and civil engineer.
- New architecture of Scotland’s west coast.
- Re-thatching a Hebridean blackhouse.
- Scotland’s new guide on managing climate-change risk to historic sites.
- Seashaken Houses: A lighthouse history from Eddystone to Fastnet.
- The challenges and opportunities of conservation in the Highlands and Islands.
- The Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
- Traditional construction materials on the Isle of Man.
- United Free Church of Scotland: Design for Manses in the Highland Districts.
- Vernacular architecture.
- Waterfronts Revisited: European ports in a historic and global perspective.
The awards showcase the very best historic places and cultural sites from across the globe.
The IHBC’s latest Toolbox Guidance Note, on ‘Alterations to Listed Buildings’ has been issued following UK-wide consultation.
The ruins of Ousdale Burn Broch, north of Helmsdale in Caithness, had fallen into further disrepair over the past 130 years.
Europe’s largest air museum and Britain’s best-preserved Second World War airfield – has been included in Grade II* listing, even though technically too recent.
The College of Arts and Conservation has won the award for a for a project which provides or improves facilities for the community, including a £5.8M restoration of the College’s 126-year-old roof.
Completion of the restoration of Stowe House’s North Hall, largely funded by World Monuments Fund (WMF), came a step closer this summer with the installation of a statue of Mercury opposite the imposing Laocoön group installed last year.
The CREATIVE Conservation Fund helps the IHBC generate and distribute funds exclusively to deserving causes in built and historic environment conservation.
For years, there have been rumours whispered around Plymouth and Cornwall about so-called ‘nuclear tunnels’ that exist beneath the Tamar Valley.
Just under half of England’s busiest bridges are severely defected or damaged, but have remained open due to concerns about an influx of traffic should repairs be ordered, it has been revealed.
The issue focusses on the future of an historic city – Oxford – and includes an introduction by Layla Moran MP, Chair of the new APPG on Conservation, People and Places which has the IHBC as its Secretariat.