Worldwide Lighthouses

St Abbs Head Lighthouse

St Abbs Head

General Information


Established: 1862

Current Lighthouse Built: 1862

Height: 9 Metres (29.53 Feet)

Automated: 1993

Electrified: 1966

Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board

Designer: David Stevenson & Thomas Stevenson

Light Information


White: 26 Nautical Miles

The lighthouse at St. Abbs Head was built in 1862 and designed by David and Thomas Stevenson.

The unusual looking 9 metre high lighthouse consists of a white rectangular shaped service building, topped by a standard black NLB lantern.

The tower is one of only two in scotland at which the Keepers housing is higher than the focal plane of the light itself; this is because the houses (now privately owned) are futher up the cliff face, linked to the tower by a flight of steps.The lantern contains a large fresnel lens which can produce a white light that is visible for up to 26 miles; it flashes once every 10 seconds.

The Lighthouse was converted to electricity in 1966 and was automated in 1993 and is now remotely monitored in Edinburgh.

The fog horn building further down the cliff than the lighthouse is another standard design used by the NLB, but it was the first of these. The red horn is on a pair of wheels that allow it to be pointed into the fog, to give the best sound. The siren was introduced in 1876 and became the first siren in scotland.

The horn gave one 3½ second blast every 45 seconds but was made redundant in 1987.