Worldwide Lighthouses

Tiumpan Head Lighthouse

Tiumpan Head

General Information

Established: 1900

Current Lighthouse Built: 1900

Height: 21 Metres (68.9 Feet)

Automated: 1985

Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board

Designer: David Alan Stevenson and Charles Stevenson

Light Information

White: 25 Nautical Miles

Tiumpan Head, on the East coast of the Isle of Lewis is a prominent headland just north of the Port of Stornoway, sticking Eastwards into the waters between the Island and the Scottish Mainland.

A lighthouse was built on this site in 1900 by the Northern Lighthouse Board, to a design drawn up by two of the most famous Lighthouse builders; David Alan Stevenson and Charles Stevenson.

The tower is a white painted building, 21 metres in height, with a gold painted service room and black lantern. Originally a Fresnel lens would have been located inside the lantern, but was replaced by a bank of Sealed Beam units when automated in 1985. Today the Light exhibits two white every 15 seconds, visible for 25 Nautical Miles.

After the Flannan Isle Disaster in which 3 Lighthouse Keepers went missing from the Flannan Island's Lighthouse, 20 miles off of the western side of the Isle of Lewis without any logical explanation, Principal Keeper John Milne was sent from Tiumpan Head to take temporary charge at Flannan Lighthouse, whilst his place was taken by James Ferrier, the Principal Keeper at Arnish Point in Stornoway.

It is thought that on a trip to the Lighthouse in 1956 to switch on the new Fog Horn with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Princess Anne gained her interest in Pharology and the study of Lighthouses, later becoming a patron for the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Master of Trinity House.

The light became automatic 1985 and the associated keeper's cottages along with the remaining buildings that had become surplus to the requirements of the Northern Lighthouse Board were sold off to private individuals, later becoming the home to the Tiumpan Head cattery. The fog horn building was demolished and the air and water tanks were removed, although several of the water tanks can be seen in parts across nearby fields, still painted in the Northern Lighthouse Board colours, in use as Water Troughs for farm animals.