The lighthouse is situated near Wick Caithness Head. The name Noss Head comes from the Old Norse word, Snos, a nose, the peak of nose-shaped headland. The lighthouse was completed in 1849 by Mr Robert Arnot of Inverness, and the light was first exhibited on Monday 18 June 1849. A new style of lantern with diagonal instead of vertical framing was first used by Stevenson at Noss Head. Stronger and less liable to intercept light in any particular direction, it was adopted as the standard pattern for the service. The original lamp from Noss Head is now in the museum at Wick. The lens which is approximately 6ft in diameter rotates by clockwork machinery around a mercury vapour lamp. An access road from Wick to Noss Head was bult by the unemployed poor of the area who were paid 3/6d per day. The following poem, written by James G Duncan, hangs framed in the lightroom:-
To Noss Head LightAs sweet to me as light of moon or star, Is thy bright gleam, old trusty friend Noss Head And doubly sweet, when o'er wide ocean far The ray benignant on my course is shed Blest be the hand that raised your steadfast tower And he who trims you never-falling light For oft when round me midnight tempests lower Hope's pulse had failed, but for thy flash so bright My gallant boat, though scare inch-thick her planks Flies livelier on the track that heads her home And dips her prow, as if in grateful thanks When first you welcome ray reveals the billows foam Long where the nights and weary were my watch If from the lively deck thy flame I did not catch.
The Light was automated in 1987.It should be noted that at some sites the Northern Lighthouse Board have sold some redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these building.
To report any defects or damage to any of our aids to navigation please telephone our 24 hour freephone emergency number 08000 326655.