Neist Point

The Northern Lighthouse Board

Commissioners' Flag of the NLB

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
Neist Point - Isle of Skye
Vlag NLB
Ensign of the NLB
Lighthouse Map NLB Aid to Mariners (AtoN) Basis Vessels Plaques Lighthouse Keepers
Stevensons Technics Useful Links
Update: 21-01-2024

Compiled by:
@ Bob Schrage

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Northern LIghthouse Board - Basis

Edinburg - Headquaters

The Northern Lighthouse Board's headquarters are in Edinburgh. From here, the NLB remotely monitor the network of lighthouses and aids to navigation. About 80 employees work at this head office.

Oban - Operational basis

Technical operations are carried from the NLB Oban base where there are maintenance workshops and facilities for the construction of buoys and beacons. Our ships, NLV PHAROS and NLV POLE STAR are based in Oban.


The NLB has had a base in Oban since 1904. There are about 20 employees on this basis. The team ranges from administration, stores, information systems, helicopter and buoy coordination, base assistants and engineers.

Staff are engaged in the maintenance and refurbishment of floating aids to navigation (buoys) using modern and environmentally conscious processes.

The solar powered navigation buoys are maintained to the highest standard to allow for six years of continuous "on-station" deployment in harsh environments, after which the buoy is returned to Oban for refit after being replaced with an exact duplicate.

The buoy's refurbishment process includes descaling and paint application systems, ultra-high pressure cleaning, airless paint spraying, thickness testing, and monitoring and repair of electronic systems.

Oban depot NLB
Northern Lighthouse Board - Headquaters
84 George Street
EH2 3DA Edinburgh

Tel: +44(0) 131 473 3100
Northern Lighthouse Board - Basis Oban
Gallanach Road
PA34 4LS Oban
Tel: +44(0) 1631 562146

Granton Lighthouse Depot (Former)

Located in Edinburgh’s northern area, the Granton Lighthouse Depot was used as the Stores and Buoy Yard for the Northern Lighthouse Board. The Northern Lighthouse Board leased the site from the Duke of Buccleuch in 1852. A complex of brick buildings was constructed between 1868-69.

In the 1860s, engineer John Wigham experimented with gas lighting for lighthouses. Wigham undertook much of his research at the Baily Lighthouse near Dublin. Northern Lighthouse Board Engineer David Stevenson was impressed with the intensity when he visited. As a result, in 1869, Wigham was invited to demonstrate his gas lighting technique at the experimental lighthouse at Granton Depot. Trials were initially conducted with gas taken from the town’s gas supply, and later using gas manufactured under Wigham’s direction.

Granton depot NLB
Former NLB - Granton Depot

In 1874 the lighthouse was added to the buildings and used for training lighthouse keepers and testing new lights. A coal gas works established in 1892 produced fuel for the buoys and beacons. This facility was removed in the 1930s when no longer required.

In the 1960s, the site was extended and improved. NLV Pharos, the support vessel for the NLB, was based in Granton Harbour until the early 1970s when it relocated to Leith. By the late 1990s, only the Engineering Storage and Test Facility remained at Granton. By 2001 the new depot at Oban replaced it.

Lengthy proposals followed to redevelop the site as a conference centre and performance space, with a hotel. These plans did not materialise, and now the building houses a recording and rehearsal studio and art and exhibition space.

Granton Middle Pier light

Close to the Granton Lighthouse Depot is Edinburgh Marina. Located on the Middle Pier of the marina the Middle Pier Lighthouse guided ships into Granton Harbour.

The light was constructed around 1869 with a 4th Order optic and remained in use until 1970. It was listed in 1989 as a Category B listed building. In December 2019 the lantern was restored as part of a redevelopment scheme within Edinburgh Marina.

Granton pier LH


The NLB has also Technicians based in Shetland, Orkney and Inverness:

Orkney Base
Unit 4 A - Quarryfield Road
KW15 1GD Hatston
Telephone: 0131 437 2448
Shetland Base
Unit 3 - Marine Business Park
ZE1 0TA Lerwick
Telephone: 0131 473 2444
Inverness Base
21B Dalcross - Industrial Estate
IV2 7XD Dalcross
Telephone: 0131 473 2428

Granton depot NLB
Former Granton Depot - NLB
Granton depot NLB
Former Granton Depot - NLB
Granton Pier Lighthouse
Granton Pier Light
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