Dingieshowe Beach

Lighthouses of the Orkney Islands

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

Start Point



Under construction

Description c. 1880. Brick. Short tower. Circular plan. 2-storeyed Keepers' houses, with platformed roof, at base. Statement of Special Interest Now automatic. Replaced lighthouse built 1802-6.

Sanday is one of the inhabited islands of Orkney that lies off the north coast of mainland Scotland. With an area of 50.43 square kilometers (19.5 sq mi),[3] it is the third largest of the Orkney Islands.[8] The main centres of population are Lady Village and Kettletoft. Sanday can be reached by Orkney Ferries or by plane from Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland. Start Point lighthouse on Sanday was completed on 2 October 1806 by engineer Robert Stevenson. It was the first Scottish lighthouse to have a revolving light and since 1915 has exhibited distinctive black and white vertical stripes which are unique in Scotland. The light was automated in 1962 and is powered by a bank of 36 solar panels.[35] Despite the presence of the lighthouse, HMS Goldfinch was wrecked in fog on Start Point in 1915.[36] The first beacon to mark the Start Point on the Orkney island of Sanday was an unlit masonry tower, but this beacon proved inadequate as vessels continued to be wrecked on the island. At the time Robert Stevenson was engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board and he decided to transfer the light from the neighbouring island of North Ronaldsay to Start Point. Building work began and the new lighthouse, which is still in existence, was established and first exhibited on 2 October 1806. The original great ball from the top of the first beacon was removed and placed on the old beacon at North Ronaldsay - this can still be seen today. Start Point was the first Scottish lighthouse to have a revolving light which gave it a unique character making it easily distinguished from other lights. Start Point lighthouse was painted with its black and white vertical stripes around 1915, which makes it a recognisable day mark; it is the only Scottish lighthouse painted in this way. Disaster struck during the building of Start Point lighthouse when the vessel "Stromness" set off to return the workmen back to Leith. A tremendous storm blew up forcing the "Stromness" back northwards to shelter off Flotta island. During the night the cables broke and she was smashed to pieces on the rocks with the loss of all on board except the cabin boy, who was found clinging to the top of the mast. All Scottish lighthouses now operate automatically. The last Scottish lighthouse to be automated was Fair Isle South in 1998. Now, when daylight falls and rises between set levels, a light sensor switches the light on and off. The status of the light and all its associated equipment is relayed back to the Northern Lighthouse Board's head office in Edinburgh by phone link, Radar signal or satellite. Prior to the automation of Start Point in 1962 a Principal Lightkeeper and an Assistant, with their families, lived at the light. The families were almost self sufficient and would have kept cows and sheep at the station. Lightkeeping was a remote, lonely and hard existence. At night each keeper was required to keep a watch in the lightroom to ensure that the light flashed correctly to character. During daytime keepers were engaged in cleaning, painting if necessary and generally keeping the premises clean and tidy. The magnificent lens at Start Point is an original 4th Order Fresnel lens, with a new lamp system. So named after its French inventor, Augustin Fresnel. It is made from a series of perfectly polished crystal glass lenses set into a brass structure. An emergency back-up light is positioned on the balcony should the main light ever fail. Start Point Lighthouse is powered by Solar energy; a bank of 36 solar panels charge batteries which are then used to power the light. The Northern Lighthouse Board has successfully used solar energy at its lighthouses for over 20 years and have also converted all its statutory lit buoyage to solar power. Start Point Lighthouse was the first Scottish Lighthouse to have a revolving light making it easily distinguishable from other lights. It was painted with its unique black and white stripes around 1915 and is the only Scottish lighthouse painted in this way. Situated on a tidal island at the exposed eastern point of Sanday, Orkney, Start Point Lighthouse was the first Scottish Lighthouse to have a revolving light making it easily distinguishable from other lights. It was painted with its unique black and white stripes around 1915 and is the only Scottish lighthouse painted in this way. 1870 (Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson). Station established 1806. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); two white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 20 s. 23 m (75 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white vertical stripes; lantern painted black. The 2-story keeper's house is occupied as a private residence, but the owner also looks after the lighthouse informally. Beth Loft's photo at right was taken on the 200th anniversary of the light station, 2 October 2006. Trabas has Ina Rendtel's closeup photo, a 2007 view is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view and a second postcard view that shows the lighthouse painted with the present vertical stripes. This is the easternmost lighthouse of Orkney, located on a small island off the northeastern tip of Sanday Island. Sanday is accessible by ferry, and the lighthouse can be reached on foot at low tide; Lukas Pokorny has a view of the crossing point. Tours guided by the owner of the island are available. Site and tower open by appointment. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. ARLHS SCO-225; Admiralty A3718; NGA 3276. Start Point lighthouse on Sanday was completed on 2 October 1806 by engineer Robert Stevenson. It was the first Scottish lighthouse to have a revolving light and since 1915 has exhibited distinctive black and white vertical stripes which are unique in Scotland. The light was automated in 1962 and is powered by a bank of 36 solar panels.[35] Despite the presence of the lighthouse, HMS Goldfinch was wrecked in fog on Start Point in 1915.[36]

A3718


Character: Fl(2) W 20s 24m 18M


EngineerThomas Smit (1752-1815)
assisted by:Robert Stevenson (1772-1850)

Lat, Lon59°16.638' N, 02°22.577' W

Established2 october 1806
Automated1962
Character Flashing(2) White every 20 sec.
Range33.3 km / 18 nM
Tower18 meters
Elevation24 meters above sea-level
Fog hornNo

StatusOperationel
AuthorityNorthern Lighthouse Board
RemarksCat.B listed - nr: 12675 - 08/12/1971

Start Point lighthouse
Start Point lighthouse
Start Point map
Start Point map
References:

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