Place of the lighthouseScurdie Ness is a headland located on the South side of the River South Esk estuary, Montrose, Angus, Scotland. The River leads from the North Sea into Montrose Harbour and then into Montrose Basin. The headland has also been referred to as Scurdy Ness, Montrose point or Montroseness. The word Scurdie is a local word for the volcanic rock found there and Ness means a promontory, cape or headland. The coastline from Scurdie Ness to Rickle Craig has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Scurdie Ness Lighthouse is located on the headland and has also been referred to as Montroseness Lighthouse. In 1867 the seafaring community of Ferryden made representations to the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses to have a light established on Montrose Point due to the numerous vesselwrecks and great loss of life along that coast. There are 11 wrecks recorded around the mouth of the estuary.
Originally the light characteristic was fixed white but in 1907 was changed to isophase white 60 seconds (i.e., light 30 seconds, eclipse 30 seconds). Scurdie Ness lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in 1987 and now displays 3 white flashes separated by 2.5 seconds and repeated every 20 seconds. The light is 182,000 candlepower and on a clear night can be seen for approximately 42 km.
The lighthouse was built by David and Thomas Stevenson and on Tuesday 1 March 1870 at 1800 hours the tower was lit for the first time amidst cheers from the multitude gathered on the links and the sands.
Originally the light character was fixed white but in 1907 was changed to isophase white 60 seconds (i.e, light 30 seconds, eclipse 30 seconds). The light currently flashes (3) white every 20 seconds and has a range of 23 nautical miles.
At some of the isolated stations the war added immensely to the lightkeepers work. At Scurdie Ness, not content with being the butt of the RAF for 'Lighting up' on naval instructions and so guiding the German Bombers in, one lightkeeper had to paint the whole tower black so that it would not also provide a day mark for the enemy.
The lighthouse is listed as a building of Architectural/Historic interest.
It should be noted that at some sites the Northern Lighthouse Board have sold some redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these building.
The buildings within the grounds of the lighthouse are now privately owned. Cars are not allowed along the road leading from Ferryden to the lighthouse but it is a popular walk and sightings of seals and dolphins are not unusual. Whales are sometimes seen in the area including rare sightings of Humpback Whales
The lighthouse is a category B listed building of Architectural/Historic interest, Historical Scotland Building ID: 4958. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland - Canmore ID: 36262.
Character: Fl(3) W 20s 38m 20M
(fl. 0.5s - ec. 2.0s)
|Engineers||: David Lillie Stevenson (1815-1886)|
|: Thomas Stevenson (1818-1887)|
|Lat, Lon||: 56°42.106' N, 02°26.236' W|
|Established||: 1 March 1870|
|Character||: Flashing(3) White every 20 secs.|
|Range||: 37 km / 20 nM|
|Elevation||: 38 meters above sealevel|
|Tower||35 meters, 170 steps to the top|
|Init. Costs||: £ ?.|
|Econ. Costs*||: £ ?.|
|*) According to: MeasuringWorth.com|
|Last Keepers||: ? - PLK|
|: ? - ALK|
|: ? - ALK|
|Fog horn||: ?|
|Authority||: Northern Lighthouse Board|
|Remarks||Cat.B - LB4958 - 11/05/1971|