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

Hoy Sound High

Under construction

Description Alan Stevenson, 1851. 6-stage with lantern, circular-plan tapered tower with single stage, semi-circular-plan coal-store/dry-store to E side, standing at E side of rectangular-plan court; single storey 10-bay symmetrical Egyptian-style keepers' accommodation block to W side of court. Tower: painted stugged sandstone ashlar; channelled ashlar at 6th stage. Base course; blocking course to coal-store/dry-store; band course below 6th stage; cast-iron railings around balcony at 6th stage, supported by pointed-headed mock machiolations. Keepers' accommodation: stugged ashlar sandstone with polished dressings. Base course; massive projecting door surrounds with band course below cavetto cornice; blocking course with raised central panel above. TOWER: raised doorpiece to W (court) side at 1st stage; band course below outswept cornice and shallow pediment above; timber-panelled door; boarded door to coal-store in each bay flanking; 3 every disposed window (blocked) in curved side of coal-store to E; 2 evenly disposed tall, tapering stacks above with band course and outswept cornices. Window (boarded) at each stage to E side of tower. Pointed-arched window at 6th stage to W side. Triangular-pane glass to lantern with hemispherical dome above. INTERIOR: spiral stone staircase with timber handrail to main tower; architraved, timber panelled doors; timber-lined lamp room beneath lantern; painted central column supporting iron lantern floor above; brass angel statuettes and ventilators decorated with the faces of wind gods; timber and iron stair with brass handrail to lantern above; decorative lattice walkway around lantern; triangular pane apexes bearing lion masks; riveted dome with central ventilator above. KEEPERS' HOUSES: E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: window in 2 recessed bays to centre. Deep-set 2-leaf boarded doors with small-pane fanlight in advanced bays flanking. Window in each recessed bay flanking. Window in each advanced bay to penultimate left and right. Boarded door in recessed, slightly lower bay to outer left and right. W (REAR) ELEVATION: 6-bays. Window in each of 2 recessed bays to centre. Window in each advanced bay flanking. Window in each recessed bay to outer left and right. Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Platform roof; tall tapered stacks with band course below outswept cornices, regularly disposed, grouped 2-4-2; tall cans; predominantly cast-iron rainwater goods. INTERIOR: timber skirting boards, architraves and panelled doors; timber-panelled shutters. BOUNDARY WALLS: roughly coursed rubble wall around court with curved rubble cope, extending S to enclose rectangular-plan garden; square-plan stugged ashlar, corniced gatepiers to N. Statement of Special Interest Described as 'the Rolls-Royce of Orkney's lighthouses', Hoy High displays particularly fine internal details such as the brass ventilators and angel statuettes. The tower dominates the flat landscape of the island of Graemsay, rising 33 meters from its east coast. In the 1840's and previously, it took skillful seamanvessel to negotiate the tides and skerries of Hoy Sound to reach the safety of Stromness harbour, prompting the Northern Lighthouse Board to commission the building of two 'leading lights' on the island of Graemsay, one being Hoy High, the other Hoy Low. By lining the two lights up upon approach to the harbour, their navigational use as leading lights becomes apparent, ensuring a safe entry into the Sound. Designed by Alan Stevenson and built by Alexander Wilson, the structure was erected by Irish workers who first had to construct a robust slipway at Sandside (see separate list description) and who subsequently built a road across the island from Hoy High to Hoy Low, on the west coast. The stone was initially quarried at the Bring Deeps on Hoy, but was found to be too soft, and so was imported from the Northern Isles instead. The stone was cut and the courses fashioned in Stromness and transported to the island, completing the structure early in 1851. The lights are described as 'occulating' white and red every 8 seconds with a range of 20 miles, and were tested on the 5 April that year. From plans in the NMRS, it can be seen that the keepers' accommodation consisted of 3 bedrooms along the rear (W) wall with 2 kitchens flanking a visiting officer's room to the E, facing the court. Their design is distinctive and often likened to Assyrian temples or of being Egyptian in chatacter. The semi-circular structure at the base of the tower was reserved as a coal-store with a central dry store between. The courtyard wall was originally much higher, but proved to be too high to withstand the strong sea winds and was subsequently lowered. Hoy High was automated in 1978.

Graemsay is an island in the western approaches to Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The island has two lighthouses. Geography and geology[edit] Graemsay lies between Hoy and Stromness on Mainland Orkney, separated from the Mainland by Clestrain Sound. The island is 409 ha (1.58 sq mi) in area and is mainly crofted. The island's geology is Old Red Sandstone of the Devonian period, with two volcanic faults. On the north coast there is granite-schist, a great rarity in Orkney. Graemsay is surrounded by strong tidal races, known locally as roosts. An Orkney Ferries service, usually operated by MV Graemsay, links the island with Stromness and Moaness on Hoy. Graemsay is sometimes referred to locally, as 'Orkney's green isle' due to its lush green vegetation cover. Wildlife[edit] Birds include oystercatchers, ringed plovers, redshank and curlew. Parts of the island are largely undeveloped and are a haven for wild plants.[citation needed] History[edit] As with many other Orkney Islands, there is a connection to the Celtic Church, possibly a pre-Norse one. There are the remains of two early churches, dedicated to St Bride and to St Columba.,[4] who are both saints of Irish origin. The island has two lighthouses, Hoy High (NE) and Hoy Low (NW), both built in 1851 by Alan Stevenson[9] for the 19th-century herring industry. At the Point of Oxan in the far north west, in Burra Sound, are block vessels, which were scuttled deliberately during World War II. This is a common feature of the straits and former straits around Scapa Flow The primary school closed in 1996 and the island's children travel daily by boat to school in Stromness on the ferry 'Graemsay.'[4] Lighthouses[edit] Two lighthouses are present on Graemsay: Hoy Sound Low and Hoy Sound High located at the extremities of the northern side of the island. The lights were built in 1851 on project by Alan Stevenson; both are cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern, even if of different heights, white painted with black lantern and the typical ochre trims. The Hoy High Light, known as Graemsay Island Range Rear, is 33 meters (108 ft) high and has a white and red occulting light every 8 seconds depending on the directions. The Hoy Low Light (Graemsay Island Range Front) is 12 meters (39 ft) high and is distinguished by a white isophase light every 3 seconds. The two Range lighthouses direct the vessels towards the Hoy Sound from the Atlantic. as Hoy Sound High Lighthouse, deutsch Hoy-Sound-High-Leuchtturm, ist ein Leuchtturm auf der schottischen Orkneyinsel Graemsay. Der Leuchtturm wird seit 1851 betrieben und ist seit 1978 automatisiert. Als Ingenieur war Alan Stevenson für die Planung verantwortlich. 1977 wurde der Leuchtturm in die schottischen Denkmallisten in der höchsten Kategorie A aufgenommen.[1] Mit dem Hoy Sound Low Lighthouse existiert noch ein zweiter Leuchtturm auf Graemsay. Beschreibung[Bearbeiten | Quelltext bearbeiten] Landseitige Außengebäude Der Leuchtturm befindet sich an der nordöstlich Landspitze der kleinen Insel. Er ragt mit einer Höhe von 34 m aus der flachen Landschaft heraus und stellt deshalb eine weithin sichtbare Landmarke dar. Für den Bau des sechsstöckigen Turmes wurden zunächst Material aus einem Steinbruch auf Hoy verwendet, welches sich jedoch als zu weich erwies, sodass Steine von anderen Inseln importiert werden mussten.[1] Diese wurden in Stromness behauen und dann nach Graemsay transportiert. Das Mauerwerk besteht aus Sandstein. Auf dem sechsten Stockwerk sitzt eine kuppelförmige Laterne auf. Um die auskragende Plattform läuft ein gusseisernes Geländer um. Die zugehörigen einstöckigen Wohngebäude weisen ägyptische Details auf. Eine Bruchsteinmauer umfriedet das Gelände. Die Mauer war ursprünglich höher, musste jedoch teilweise abgetragen werden, da sie den starken Winden auf Graemsay nicht dauerhaft standhalten konnte.[1] Although known as Hoy High and Hoy Low the lighthouses are, in fact, situated on the island of Graemsay. This island lies at the northern entrance to Scapa Flow between Stromness and Hoy. In 1840 Graemsay was chosen for the site of two lighthouses which were to be built on the east and west ends of the island. When brought into line the two lights would lead vessels up the centre of Hoy Sound through deep water and well clear of the submerged rocks. They were designed by Alan Stevenson, son of Robert, and the building of these lighthouses brought many changes to Graemsay. A slipway was built at the Bay of Sandside to enable materials to be landed. The builder, Alexander Wilson employed Irish workmen who were accommodated in bothies. After construction a road was built to connect the two lighthouses, the first on the island. Stone was brought in from the North Isles and was cut and prefabricated at the Point of Ness, Stromness. The stones were then transferred across to the island from a wooden jetty. The east tower is 108 feet high with the foundations dug into the rock. The light flashes white/red every eight seconds. The white light is visible for 20 miles while the red light is visible for 16 miles. It was automated in 1978. This lighthouse, together with its range of keeper's cottages, sheds, outbuildings, slipway and perimeter wall was built in 1851. The lighthouse tower is 33m high and its gallery is carried on gothic-arched corbels. The interior is decorated with angel statuettes and representations of classical wind gods. The flat-roofed, single storey cottages have massive projecting door surrounds and tall, tapering chimneys and are said to have been modelled on Egyptian temples. The lighthouse is now automatically operated and the cottages are currently occupied.


Character: Oc WR 8s 35m 20/16M

EngineerAlan Stevenson (1807-1865)

Lat, Lon58°56.140' N, 03°16.399' W

Character Occulting WR every 8 sec.
RangeW: 37 km/20 nM - R: 29.6/16nM
Tower33 meters
Elevation35 meters above sealevel
Fog hornNo

AuthorityNorthern Lighthouse Board
RemarksCat.A - nr: 12736 - 09/12/1977

Hoy Sound High lighthouse
Hoy Sound High lighthouse
Hoy Sound High lighthouse
Hoy Sound High map
Hoy Sound High map
Hoy Sound High map

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