Dingieshowe Beach

Lighthouses of the Orkney Islands

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
Isle of Hoy
Flag of Scotland
© Compiled by:
Bob Schrage
Update: 14-10-2023

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Brough of Birsay
Cantick Head
Helliar Holm
Hoxa Head
Hoy Sound High
Hoy Sound Low
North Ronaldsay
Noup Head
Start Point
Sule Skerry
Tor Ness

Place of the lighthouse

Auskerry (Scots: Soond; Old Norse: Austrsker, east skerry) is a small island, flat, with red sandstone, 5 kilometers (3 miles). It lies in the North Sea south of the island Stronsay at the eastern side of Orkney, Scotland. A standing stone and mediaeval chapel are signs of early settlement.

Building of the Lighthouse

Construction of the lighthouse began in 1864. The lighthouse was designed by Northern Lighthouse Board engineers David Lillie and Thomas Stevenson. Since the island is flat and low-lying, a high lighthouse had to be built to get sufficient range. The construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1866. The lighthouse lights the north entrance to the Stronsay Firth. seal-hunting location.

The 30 meter high round tower is on the south side of Auskerry. The tower has a balcony and lantern. The lighthouse complex is now executed in the Northern Lighthouse Board colors. Which means white Tower and Keeperhouses with ocher-colored edges and a black lantern. In the past the tower was not yet painted, as can be seen on the old photo in the right column.

At the base of the tower, a homes for the lighthouse keeper has been made. The lighthouse is attached to the base to the two-storey building. The lower part is mainly used as a store/warehouse. Since the buildings (ex. Lighthouse) have been sold private individuals, the Northern Lighthouse Board has no more responsibility for the state of maintenance of these buildings. This lighthouse complex is also walled. In addition, a large garden can be seen with a number of small folded (stables).

Warning systems (Light, Fog horn, Radar Beacon)

The light is first lit in 1866. Then it was a fixed light. Later is this been changed to a flashing light once in 20 seconds. It looks like that there is now a 4th Order Fresnel lens. The power source is now solar power with battery storage.

Auskerry Lighthouse was automated in July 1961 and was the first Orkney lighthouse to be automated. Following automation, the island was uninhabited for a time, having previously been a seal-hunting location.

Additional information

During the First and Second World War, the Navy was stationed on the island for signal and radar surveillance, living in Hutten at the lighthouse. There was also anti -aircraft guns.

Two lighthouse keeper families lived in the lighthouse until 1940. From that moment on, this lighthouse was considered a Rock Station and the families disappeared. The families moved to accommodations in Stromness. In addition, the staffing of the lighthouse was extended to three lighthouse keeper's, which was normal for Rock stations.

The keepers’ accommodation was then sold into private ownership. The accommodation comprised two flats, one of which was used as a summer residence.

Auskerry settlement
Aerial view Auskerry settlement

The island has a standing stone and a medieval chapel and is designated as a special protection zone because of its importance as a breeding area for Nordic Stern and Stormvogeltje; 4.2% of the breeding population European storm birds in Great Britain breeds on the island.

Auskerry has been inhabited for 30 years by a family who holds a herd of rare North Ronaldsay sheep. The sheep are known for their diet of seaweed. The wool of these sheep is also sold on there website Isle of Auskerry.

In the north of Auskerry Island (North Taing) there was a barn. Following a series of extensions and renovations, the one room stone barn is now a modern house with four bedrooms, kitchen, shower room and lounge. The chemical toilet is outside due to the complication of installing septic tanks. Once a month, a fishing boat delivers mail from Stronsay Post. The energy is provided by three small wind turbines and four solar panels.



On the website of Isle of Auskerry there is a timeline from antiquity to the present. In addition, the residents have made a number of videos about life on Auskerry. These videos can be viewed via the link below.

Living on Auskerry with Drone flight (1 of 3)
Living on Auskerry with Drone flight (2 of 3)
Living on Auskerry with Drone flight (3 of 3)



Character: Fl W 20s 34m 20M
(fl. 0.4s - ec. 19.6s)

Auskerry map
Lightcharacter of Auskerry(click to enlarge)
Engineer: David Lillie Stevenson (1815-1886)
: Thomas Stevenson (1818-1887)

Lat, Lon: 59°01.562' N, 02°34.337' W

Established: 1866
Character: Flashing White every 20 sec.
Range: 20NM ~ 37 km
Elevation: 34 meters above sea-level
Tower: 30 meters
Init. Costs: £ ?.
Econ. Costs*: £ ?.
*) According to: MeasuringWorth.com

Automated: July 1961
Last Keepers: PLK - ?
: ALK - ?
: ALK - ?
Fog horn: Yes

Status: Operationel
Authority: Northern Lighthouse Board
Remarks: Cat.B listed - LB18638 - 08/12/1971

This is why I learned to fly

Auskerry lighthouse
Auskerry with solarpanels

Auskerry lighthouse
From above - Marinas.com

Auskerry lighthouse
Auskerry in early times