Covesea Skerries Lighthouse
In 1846, Alan Stevenson was commisioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board to construct a new Lighthouse at Covesea Skerries, near Lossiemouth following aplications for a light being made since 16 vessels were wrecked in a violent storm in the firth, in 1826.
One year prior to the construction of a proper light tower, the Northern Lighthouse Board erected a small unlit beacon on the Halliman Skerries, just offshore; it is a pyramid shaped iron tower with a cage capable of giving refuge to wrecked sailors still stands to this day.
The Light station is interesting in design and is one of only two in Scotland that fully show Egyptian influence, including the design of the tower's gallery and more noticeably on the chimneys and doorways of the keeper's houses, which are shaped to resemble pillars and doorways of ancient Egyptian buildings. The other site of similar design is Ardnamurchan Point, which is on the other side of the country, situated at the westernmost point of mainland Britain.
An unusual design flaw of this station was that the high walls designed to shelter the site from the wind caused miniature whirlwinds to form in the corners of the walls and in the courtyard, which
The Lighthouse was automated in 1984 and the original glass optic was replaced by a bank of Sealed Beam Units, which gave the characteristic of a white flashing light with a small red sector over the Halliman Skerries being exhibited once every 20 Seconds; this was visible for 24 nautical miles and the lighting setup remained in place until the Light's decommissioning in 2012; The original lighting apparatus is on display in the Lossiemouth Fisheries and Community Museum.
Following a review by Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board of every aid to navigation they provide, they found that the Light on Tarbet Ness covered the area required, in which shipping entering the Moray Firth tended to stay. Vessels leaving the firth tended to stay closer to the southern shore, near Covesea, meaning that a long-range light was no longer required. The Lighthouse was turned off permanently on 2nd March 2012
As a replacement light, a North Cardinal buoy was placed nearby to mark the Halliman Skerries, on which a Daymark already stands; this entered service in February 2012, prior to the Lighthouse's discontinuation.