Worldwide Lighthouses

Sgeir Bhuidhe (Old) Lighthouse

Sgeir Bhuidhe (Old)

General Information

Established: 1903

Current Lighthouse Built: 1903

Height: 8 Metres (26.25 Feet)

Automated: 1903

Operator: Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and Port Appin Village

Designer: David Alan Stevenson

Light Information

White: Nautical Miles

Red (Shuna Island): Nautical Miles

Sgeir Bhuidhe - translating to "Yellow Skerry" in English - is a small rocky outcrop, just off of the coast of Port Appin; a small village, located just off of the A828, between Loch Creran and North Connel, across from Lismore Island.

Sgier Bhuide's first lighthouse was built in 1903, to a design by David Alan Stevenson, and was powered by Acetylene.

The tower's design is unusual, and the light gained it's elevation due to the fact it was built atop it's exposed fuel tank, unlike most automatic lights that were built around this time, where the fuel was usually stored in tanks that were housed inside the tower.

The lighthouse was a 7 metre high structure, consisting of a brick base, iron Acetylene tank and Lantern, with a gallery that surrounded it. A small metal shed stood next to the tower, on a concrete base, and this was presumably a later addition.

The gallery and lantern were reached by a ladder on the exterior of the tower.

A notice to mariners, issued on the 23rd of December 1903 states that the tower was to be first lit on Wednesday the 30th of December, and indicates that the tower was originally painted red.

Since this light was first established, it has exhibited a white light with a red sector over Shuna Island and the light gave a flash every 6 seconds.

In 2001, the lighthouse became achieved international fame, as newspapers around the world reported that the light tower had been painted Pink with Yellow spots and a face, by vandals, to look like Children's TV Character 'Mr Blobby'. A sign in Port Appin claims that the vandals were actually Anti-demolition protesters, who wanted to see the lighthouse retained.

The Northern Lighthouse Board's chief at the time, James Taylor, condemned the painting of the lighthouse as "ridiculous and mindless vandalism", as the change of colour altered the tower's Daymark and therefore the lighthouse's navigational use.

In 2002, The Northern Lighthouse Board dismantled the lighthouse and replaced it with a new light, which resembles a traditional lighthouse, although originally the board intended to replace it with a simpler low maintenance structure, consisting of a metal framework with white aluminium panels, much like many of Scotland's newer lights.

The protest and local comments likely prompted the NLB to reconsider their original intentions of providing a simpler light, as it was felt that the lighthouse was a significant part of Port Appin's heritage.

Sgat Mor lighthouse, on the Clyde, is a surviving example of how this kind of lighthouse would've looked, when in operation. Otter Spit and Sgeir an Eirionnaich (Also on the Clyde) are other examples of this type of light, but have had their lanterns removed at some point, leaving only the metal tank and base of the tower.

Nowadays, only the lantern survives.

Following deactivation, The lantern was given to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, who have loaned it to Port Appin, to ensure it's preservation. The inside of the lantern room now houses an array of information boards, showing the history of the small village and it's history, as well as the history of the lighthouse, and a small model showing it's original form. The lantern is located on the corner, outside of the Village hall, and is situated next to a car parking area, provided for the hall.


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