Littledart Lighthouse Model Mull of Galloway Scotland
Mull of Galloway Facts Light established: 1830 Engineer: Robert Stevenson Position: Latitude 54° 38.09'N Longitude 04° 51.42'W Character: Flashing white every 20 seconds Range of light: 28 nautical miles Elevation: 99 metres (above sea level) Height of tower: 26 metres Number of steps to the top: 115 Mull of Galloway lighthouse is one of over 200 located around Scotland's wild coastline operated and maintained by the Northern Lighthouse Board. Building the Light The Mull of Galloway lighthouse stands 26 metres high and 99 metres above sea level and is as far South as you can go in Scotland. The lighthouse was designed and built in 1830 by the famous Scottish Engineer, Robert Stevenson, and cost £9,000 to build, some £9 million in today's terms! By contrast the Principal Lightkeeper working at the light was paid £45 per year. The Sensational Stevensons For over one hundred and fifty years Robert Stevenson and his descendants designed most of Scotland's Lighthouses. Battling against the odds and the elements - the Stevenson's constructed wonders of engineering that have withstood the test of time, an amazing historical achievement. Robert Stevenson's talented family also included the famous writer Robert Louis Stevenson (his grandson). Visits with his family to remote lighthouses are thought to have inspired his books Kidnapped and Treasure Island. The original 5 tonne lens at the Mull of Galloway was a Fresnel lens, so named after its French inventor, Augustin Fresnel. The lens was made from a series of perfectly polished crystal glass lenses set into a brass structure. This lens was removed in 1971 when the station was converted to electric operation and replaced with an array of sealed-beam electric lamps. Disaster struck the Mull of Galloway lighthouse during the Second World War, on 8 June 1944 a Beaufighter aircraft crashed into the lighthouse stores building. It was foggy at the time and two men were killed as part of the roof of the store was blown off. Lightkeeping - end of an era All Scottish lighthouses now operate automatically. The last Scottish lighthouse to be automated was Fair Isle South in 1998. Now, when daylight falls and rises between set levels, a light sensor switches the light on and off. The status of the light and all its associated equipment is relayed back to the Northern Lighthouse Board's head office in Edinburgh by phone link, radio signal or satellite. Prior to the automation of the Mull of Galloway in 1988 a Principal Lightkeeper and two Assistants, with their families, lived at the light. The families would have grown their own vegetables and kept chickens, sheep and a horse for transporting provisions from the boat landing. Lightkeeping was a remote, lonely and hard existence. At night each keeper was required to keep a watch in the lightroom to ensure that the light flashed correctly to character, during daytime keepers were engaged in cleaning, painting if necessary, and generally keeping the premises clean and tidy.
Why not climb to the top? The Mull of Galloway lighthouse is open for tours on weekends April - Mid-October, this is a joint venture between the Northern Lighthouse Board and the South Rhins Community Development Trust. For details visit www.nlb.org.uk. You can also stay in the Lightkeepers Cottages, which are operated as holiday homes by the National Trust for Scotland, details are available www.ntsholidays.com Webcam There is a web camera installed on the Mull of Galloway lighthouse, this can be viewed through the Northern Lighthouse Board's website at www.nlb.org.uk. This camera was funded by the European Regional Development Fund. This is an innovative project involving a web camera, a radio link and satellite broadband access to the world wide web.