Place of the lighthouseDescription D A Stevenson (engineer), 1900. Tapering 4-stage circular-plan lighthouse and rectangular-plan single and 2-storey, 5-bay keeper's house. Harl; sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course; eaves course; advanced quoins; long and short surrounds to openings. LIGHTHOUSE: timber entrance door to NW; '1900 erected by the commissioners of northern lighthouses D A Stevenson engineer' inscribed within flat pediment; single windows at 2nd and 3rd stages to NW and SE elevations; metal circular handrail; circular light casing. Adjoining flat-roofed building to SW. 3 single windows to SE and SW elevations. Timber door to NE elevation. KEEPER'S COTTAGE, SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: advanced gabled timber entrance porch; foliate capitals; decorative timber bargeboarding; 2-leaf timber door; "In Salutem Omnium 1900" inscribed within pediment; single window aligned at 1st floor. Regular fenestration to flanking bays. Single windows at ground in single storey bays to outer left and right. NW (REAR) ELEVATION: single window at ground to centre, pair of single windows aligned at 1st floor; regular fenestration to flanking bays; 2 single windows to single storey bays to outer left and right (timber and glass door replaces single window to outer right). Lean-to to left. NE ELEVATION: single window and entrance to right. SW ELEVATION: 2 single windows to left. 4-pane timber sash and case windows to Keeper?s Cottage. Flat roof; corniced wallhead stacks; circular cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods. INTERIOR: not seen 1997. FOGHORN, OUTBUILDINGS, BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: foghorn to SW of lighthouse; various flat-roofed outhouses within site; coped painted rubble boundary walls; square-plan gatepiers; pyramidal caps. Decorative iron work to timber porch. Statement of Special Interest J R Hume (p270) comments that the keeper's house is, unusually, 2-storeys high. The 20th century opened with two new lights on the West Coast - Tiumpan Head near Stornoway and Killantringan in Wigtownshire. The Board of Trade sanction to build a lighthouse at Blackhead was granted in 1897. The engineer's report station a powerful fog signal was also necessary and the estimated cost for the lighthouse and buildings was £13,500.
The light was flashing, giving two flashes in quick succession every 0.5 minute. The fog signal gave 3 blasts, low, low, high is quick succession every 1.5 minutes. The building contractor was John Adams & Co of Glasgow. The optical apparatus was made by Chance Brothers and the lantern, parapet and revolving machine were made by Messrs Dove & Co.
The fog signal machinery which cost £2,790 was made by Campbell Gas Engine Co. The lighthouse named Killantringan came into operation on 1 October 1900 and the light at Portpartick was discontinued. The name Killantringan is derived from Ringan, or Ninian's Cill of Cell. The Fog signal was discontinued in 1987.
It was not to be long before this light proved its worth. On 26 November 1900, the Principal Lightkeeper noticed a fishing boat in distress and fired a rocket to summon the lifeboat from Portpatrick, which took the crew off and towed the boat into the harbour. There have been many incidents since then; the most recent being 26 February 1982 when the 800 ton container vessel "Craigantlet" bound from Belfast to Liverpool ran aground on the rocks in Port-a-Maggie Bay, just below the lighthouse.
The Principal Lightkeeper was the first person to raise the alarm. The crew was airlifted to safety by a Sea King from 819 Squadron at HMS Gannet, Prestwick. Because of the nature of her cargo, several containers were marked with hazard code numbers as they contained dangerous chemicals. Due to the danger of breaking up and spillage, the area was considered unsafe. An emergency unmanned light was in use during the 6.5 weeks.
Some trouble was recently experienced with the roller bearing system and a new system of light was installed at Killantringan -a gearless pedestal with sealed beam lamp arrays. The gearless pedestal used a low-voltage rotary mechanism which suited a wide range of power supplies, and the lamp units were light, which produced a good beam for a very low power input, and being sealed in a vacuum it did not deteriorate or tarnish. But the main advantage of the system was that it is almost fully automatic: the lightkeeper visited the lightroom hourly until 10pm, and then did not have to go near it until extinguishing time next morning, unless summoned by the alarm bell. The lamps are mass produced and so economical, and the apparatus convenient to install and maintain; and the cleaning of the lighthouse is much easier, with no lenses to polish and no machinery to oil. The sealed beam lamp arrays look rather like rows of car headlights. The Light was automated in 1988.
In January 2005, the three General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) of the UK and Ireland issued a consultation document following a joint review of Aids to Navigation of the coasts of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Review addressed the current and future requirements of national and international vesselping and those of Mariners. Each Aid to Navigation - light, buoy or beacon - was studied in isolation, as well as in relation to the other Aids to Navigation in its vicinity. As a result of this review it was agreed to discontinue the light at Killantringan, which only served as 'waypoint'. Killantringan Lighthouse was therefore permanently discontinued with effect from 11 July 2007.
|Engineer||: David Alan Stevenson (1854-1938)|
|Lat, Lon||: 54°51.710' N, 05°08.818' W|
|Established||: 1 October 1900|
|Character||: Flashing(2) White every 15 secs.|
|Range||: 46.3 km / 25 nM|
|Elevation||: 49 meters above sealevel|
|Tower||: 22 meters, 63 steps to the top|
|Init. Costs||: £ 13.500|
|Econ. Costs*||: £ 15,860,000|
|*) According to: MeasuringWorth.com|
|Last Keepers||: ? - PLK|
|: ? - ALK|
|: ? - ALK|
|Fog horn||: 3 blasts, low, low, high in quick|
|: succession every 90 s.|
|: Discontinued 1987|
|Status||: Discontinued 11 July 2007|
|Remarks||: Candle power 480.000 cd.|
|: Cat.B listed - LB16758 - 20/07/1972|