Worldwide Lighthouses

North Queensferry Lighthouse

North Queensferry

General Information


Established: 1812

Current Lighthouse Built: 1812

Height: 11 Metres (36.09 Feet)

Operator: The North Queensferry Heritage Trust

Designer: John Rennie

Light Information


White: Nautical Miles

The lighthouse at North Queensferry was built on the small village's pier in 1812 by celebrated Scottish engineer John Rennie; one of the greatest engineers of his day. The Lighthouse was constructed along with a Lighthouse at South Queensferry to guide passenger ferry's accross the Firth of Forth safely.

The octagonal tower is built using local sandstone and is blackened by the shale within the stone. A winding staircase of 24 steps leads up the tower to the Lantern Room, where the light is exhibited from.

Every day the Lighthouse Keeper would have to climb the tower to perform routine maintenance such as cleaning the lamps and trimming the lamp's wicks.

Robert Stevenson advised the type of aparatus for lighting the tower and suggested and Argand oil lamp backed by a parabolic reflector. This light gave a fixed white light and was later replaced by a paraffin-burning light in around 1850.

The twinned lighthouse at South Queensferry was extinguished around 1920, although we do not know why.

Upon the discontinuation of the ferry service across this stretch of the Firth of Forth in 1964, mainly due to the opening of the A90 'Forth Road Bridge' the Lighthouse was no longer required and fell into disuse.

In 2010, the tower was restored and it's lantern was temporarily removed for refurbishment work, in which one window frame was replaced and all of the metalwork was cleaned and stripped back to base-metal, removing the green copper-oxide layer which had made the lantern's dome turn green. The dome was painted dark grey and all of the glass was replaced before being reinstalled back onto the tower once more.

Upon the completion of restoration work, a replica of the original set-up of Lighting Apparatus was made, including an exact copy of the type of lamp and parabolic reflector that was originally used. The Lighthouse was relit by Princess Anne, who is a patron for the NLB.

The site is also notable for being one of the best viewing places of the gigantic Forth Rail Bridge; a truly impressive sight.