Eilean Ban Lighthouse
Tucked away just under the modern Skye Bridge is a small isle called Eilean Ban, on which a large white, gold and black Lighthouse sits. The tower is one of a pair of major lights built to mark the entrances to the channels and lochs between Skye and the Scottish Mainland (The other being Ornsay, at the southern end of the Island)
The unique light station was built to the Design of David Stevenson and Thomas Stevenson for the Northern Lighthouse Board and first exhibited its light in 1857, to mark the entrance to Kyle Akin.
The white-painted tower is 21 metres in height and has a gold base to the lantern, which is painted white with a black domed roof. The station is one of only two Light Towers in Scotland that were built to a design that included a bridge to reach the tower - the other being 'Rubha nan Gall' near Tobermory, which was built at the same time.
The first light installed in the Lantern was a sperm whale oil lamp, amplified by a Fresnel lens, showing a white light with red and green sectors. 1898 saw the lamp's conversion to a paraffin light source, refuled by tanks on the shore. A further conversion came about in 1960 when the light was again converted to a new source; acetylene - a much cleaner burning gas - which no longer required a permanent keeper to be stationed at the Lighthouse.
The keeper's cottages (The only houses on the Island) on the Island were sold following the station's automation and became holiday cottages available for rent from the Island's Trust.
The light was discontinued in 1993, 2 years prior to the completion of the Skye Road Bridge.
Following the discontinuation of the Light, the walkway/bridge which reaches from the island to the tower, became unsafe and so the Eilean Bàn Trust, who care for the buildings of the island set about raising funds for its restoration; as of November 2010, major repairs that secured the safety of the walkway had been completed, but work to restore the iron-sided walkway to its original white-painted appearance, including the replacement of much of the weather-worn metalwork is still in progress.