Dingieshowe Beach

Lighthouses of the Orkney Islands

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
Dingieshowe Beach
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© Composted by:
Bob Schrage
updated: 02-10-2018

Cantick Head

Under construction

Description LIGHTHOUSE David Stevenson, 1858. 22 metre circular tower; brick; whitewashed. Stugged long and short surrounds to openings; advanced cills. Base course with band course above. Entrance door to NW; single 2nd and 3rd stage windows centred above. 4th stage window to SE; 5th stage window to NE. Stone corbels support walkway at 6th stage; metal railings to walkway. Conical roof to lantern at 7th stage; lattice glazing. Flagpole to N of lighthouse. INTERIOR: timber boarded door; metal grille gate to exterior. Brass lock inscribed 'NL' (Northern Lighthouse) and brass knob on interior of door. Painted tongue and groove panelling to ground floor. Stone steps spiral round central space (for former clock pendulum) to 2nd and 3rd stages. Landing at 4th stage. Cast-iron step-ladder to lantern; brass handrail. Semi-circular battery room at 5th stage; work room (formerly contained clock) at 6th stage and access to exterior walkway. Lantern at 7th stage; modern lens; slatted floor; concave ceiling. LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS' COTTAGES 1858. 2 single storey keepers' cottages. Brick; stugged long and short quoins; whitewash. Paraffin shed at NE end of range. SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2 doors; flanking windows; extra window to far left and right. Door to far right. SW ELEVATION: plain gable walls. NW ELEVATION: 2 later lean-to porches; flanking single window to each. Window to porch gable wall; door in inner return of each porch. NE ELEVATION: window to left gable wall; door to right gable wall. Timber sash and case windows. Inset timber boarded doors; fanlights. Double ridge Welsh slate roof. Coped gable end stacks to SW gables; coped ridge stack to front and rear; central coped stack. SHEDS Engineer's shed to NE of lighthouse. Single storey, rectangular-plan, flat-roofed shed; canted corners to E. Plain base course and cornice. Rendered. Plain entrance elevation; door to left; metal grille gate to doorway; inset timber boarded door. Window to N, E and S. Single storey sheds to N corner of boundary wall; whitewashed brick. Piended roof to left; door; window to right flank. 2 central doors; window to right and left. Door to far right; flanking single windows. Pitched roof to right; Welsh slate roof. Coped ridge stack to centre left. Timber boarded doors; fixed lights and sash and case windows. Detached half-pitched shed to left; whitewashed brick. PERIMETER WALL AND SUNDIAL BASE Square-plan rubble boundary wall painted white; rough coping stones. Plain square-plan gatepiers to NE; base; conical coping stones; replacement metal gate. Fluted cast-iron sundial pedestal (sundial missing) stands to W of keepers' cottages; painted white. Statement of Special Interest The lighthouse was built to mark the southern approach to Scapa Flow. It has been powered by candle, paraffin and diesel and presently by hydro power charged batteries. The original lens is housed at Lyness Museum. The 3 lighthouse keepers would operate shifts to run the lighthouse. The engineer's shed housed the former diesel engine, which generated the foghorn. The foghorn was in use from 1913 to 1987. Cantick Head Lighthouse is now automatic and continues in operation today (2000). The later Principal Lighthouse Keeper's house is excluded from Listing.

Cantick Head Lighthouse is situated on the South East Coast of the Island of Hoy in the Orkney Islands. The Commissioners made representations to Trinity House and the Board of Trade in February 1854 and received almost immediately statutory approval to their proposals. Lengthy correspondence did, however, take place with Trinity House and the Board of Trade regarding approval of specification, character of light and acceptance of building tenders which delayed commencement of building work until February 1856. The light was first exhibited on the night of 15 July 1858. A fog horn was established in October 1913 and discontinued in 1987. The light was automated in 1991 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s offices Edinburgh. Cantick Head Lighthouse, lightkeepers' cottages, sundial pedestal & outbuildings are grade B listed of architectural and historic interest The Cantick Head Lighthouse is an active 19th century lighthouse on the Scottish island of South Walls in the Orkney island. It is located at the end of Cantick Head, a long peninsula on the south-eastern coast of South Walls that overlooks the Pentland Firth and the Sound of Hoxa, which forms the southern entry to the natural harbour of Scapa Flow.[1] South Walls is joined to the larger island of Hoy by a narrow causeway, allowing road access to the village of Longhope, Hackness and then the lighthouse further to the south-east.[1] History[edit] The lighthouse by night The need for the lighthouse was first raised by the Northern Lights Commissioners in 1854 and was quickly approved, but delays in agreeing the details for the light and that of the buildings meant that construction did not start until two years later in 1856. The design and construction was overseen by the notable lighthouse engineers Thomas and David Stevenson.[2] The light first entered service in 1858, and consists of a 22 meters (72 ft) high cylinder-shaped tower, which is painted white. It supports a single gallery and a lantern with a black cupola.[1][2] Adjacent to the tower are a set of keeper’s cottages and subsidiary buildings, bounded by a walled compound containing a sundial. A principal keeper’s house was a later addition. In 1913, a foghorn was installed at the station, which continued in use until 1987. In 1991 the light was converted to automatic operation, and the keeper’s cottages and house were sold and converted to holiday accommodation.[1][2] With a focal height of 35 meters (115 ft) above sea level, the light can be seen for 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi). Its light characteristic is made up of a flash of white light every twenty seconds.[1][2] The lighthouse is maintained by the Northern Lighthouse Board, and is registered under the international Admiralty number A3602 and has the NGA identifier of 114-3088.[1]


Character: Fl W 20s 35m 13M

EngineerDavid Lillie Stevenson (1815-1886)
EngineerThomas Stevenson (1818-1887)

Lat, Lon58°47.225' N, 03°07.882' W

Established15 july 1858
Character Flashing White every 20 sec.
Range24 km / 13 nM
Tower22 meters
Elevation35 meters above sea-level
Fog horn1913 - Deactivated in 1987

AuthorityNorthern Lighthouse Board
RemarksSolar power
Cat.B listed - nr: 18710 - 08/12/1971

Cantick Head lighthouse
Cantick Head lighthouse
Cantick Head lighthouse
Cantick Head map
Cantick Head map

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