Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse

Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse

The Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse was estabilished in 1788 by the Commissioners supervised by Thomas Smith and assisted by Robert Stevenson who later built many more for the Commission, including the Rhinns of Islay Lighthouse.

Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse
Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse

The Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse light was first exhibited on 1st November 1788 taken 22 months to build which was pretty quick considering it’s remote location and difficult access. Located on the Southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre, approximately 20 miles from Campbeltown, Kintyre, Argyll and at the time of construction with no road access and 240 feet above sea level materials were landed by boat 6 miles away and carted to the site over the mountains taking 1 full day to transport the load.

The Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse was rebuilt during 1821 and 1830 in a more permanent form and was equipped with a fog signal in 1876 with a 4 minute interval signal period brought into question during an incident involving an Iron Paddle Steamer named the ‘Signal’ which sailed into the Mull of Kintyre ferrying from Sanda in 1895.

The light was changed from a fixed to a flashing light in 1906 outputting to 281,000 candlepower and then upgraded to electric in 1975 with a candlepower of 1,575,000. The Lighthouse was automated in 1996 with battery backup during mains failure and the electric fog signal situated 1 km away monitored by a UHF radio link to the lighthouse.

The views offered here are simply stunning, with the Antrim Coast, Islay and Jura all visible in good conditions. I have still to edit a few others but a return visit will be on the cards at some point, even contemplating camping and doing some Milky Way shots and star trails, although at least this time I will be a bit prepared for the trip.

It had been about 20 years since my last trip down there and I couldn’t remember just how far down the Lighthouse was and how steep the hill was, not good when you are running short on time and need to get set up, so it was a bit of a sprint down the hill to get a decent vantage point, but well worth the heat spots on the heels 🙂

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Information extracted from Northern Lighthouse Board Library.



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