Durness Beach

Lighthouses on the North Coast of Scotland

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
Durness - North Coast
Flag of Scotland
© Compiled by:
Bob Schrage
page updated: 24-02-2021
Cape Wrath
Duncansby Head
Dunnet Head
Holborn Head
Pentland Skerries
Strathy Point
Swilkie Point (Stroma)


Place of the lighthouse

Strathy (from Scottish Gaelic Srathaidh, meaning "place of the strath") is a scattered community in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. Strathy is on the north coast of Scotland, on the A836 road some twenty miles west of Thurso.

Building of the Lighthouse

Strathy Point was the first Scottish Lighthouse built as an all-electric station, with major light and fog signal. The station is on the north coast of Sutherland, and it was sanctioned in 1953 and lighted in 1958. A two-panel optical apparatus of 250mm focal length, rotating round a 250watt lamp can give a range of up to 26 miles. The optic is only a quarter of the size considered necessary twenty years earlier and the lantern measures only seven feet in diameter.

The fog signal, with horns set 120° apart to spread the sound, is no longer in use. The station buildings, designed by the Board's Engineer, P H Hyslop, are laid out in a hollow square with covered-in passageways, giving protection from the high winds on this exposed headland. The traditional round tower has been abandoned (curving walls require interior fittings made to match), and even the 35 foot concrete lantern tower is square.

Strathy Point filled one of the last important dark blanks on the Scottish coast between the practical limits of visibility of the major lights. It was first proposed in 1900 but Trinity House then refused approval, and the Board of Trade concurred on appeal. The vesselowners thought an additional light was required in the area, where a temporary light had been shown during the second World War. Sheriff Sir Robert Maconochie, who inaugurated the permanent light, came from legal family long associated with the Board, being himself an ardent pleader for the Strathy light.

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 NLB and the other General Lighthouse Authorities for the United Kingdom and Ireland carried out a Review of the current and anticipated future requirements for the safe passage of national and international vesselping in 2010. It also addressed the requirements of other mariners, such as fishing and leisure users. Each lighthouse, buoy and beacon provided by the Board was studied in isolation, as well as in relation to other aids in its vicinity, to establish if it was still required or if additional/improved provision was required.

This process involved utilising Geographic Information System (GIS) overlays along with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) vesselping patterns and other factors to allow a view on aid to navigation requirements to be formed. The vessel traffic analysis demonstrated that commercial vesselping passed some distance to the North of Strathy Point, on a direct line between Cape Wrath and the Pentland Firth. It was also noted that fishing and leisure use in this area is limited. The light was identified as a passing light on a radar conspicuous coast line rather than a significant way point or hazard marker. A formal consultation process with local users, harbour authorities, vessel owners and vessel operators, fishing groups and leisure users followed. The consultation responses largely supported the NLB's assessment that the light is a passing light of minimal significance to most traffic. It was noted that the Farr Point Wave Energy Farm to the west of Strathy Point is at planning stage, but it will be incumbent on the developers to mark it in accordance with NLB's requirements. It was therefore agreed to discontinue the light at Strathy Point and it was permanently discontinued with effect from 2 March 2012.

Following the discontinuation of the light on 2 March 2012 the Board no longer required the lighthouse at Strathy Point and plans were put in place to sell the lighthouse. On the 5th April 2013 the Board sold the lighthouse and no longer have an involvement with the property at Strathy Point.


Character: (discont.)

Engineer: Peter H. Hysop

Lat, Lon: 58°35.933' N, 04°01.113' W

Established: 1958
Character: Flashing White every 20 sec.
Range: 48.2 km / 26 nM
Elevation: 45 meters above sealevel
Tower: 14 meters
Init. Costs: £ ?.
Econ. Costs*: £ ?.
*) According to: MeasuringWorth.com

Automated: 1997
Last Keepers: ? - PLK
: ? - ALK
: ? - ALK
Fog horn: Yes, but discontinued

Status: Discontinued 2 March 2012
Authority: Northern Lighthouse Board
Remarks: .....

Strathy Point lighthouse
Strathy Point lighthouse
Strathy Point lighthouse
Strathy Point lighthouse

Strarhy Point - Drone flight- Toor Boy