Cape Wrath Lighthouse was built by Robert Stevenson in 1828 on the most north-westerly tip of the Scottish mainland. The name of the headland derives, not from the stormy waters of the area but from the Norse word for a "turning point", for here the Norsemen turned their ships to head home. Visitors to the lighthouse can cross the Kyle of Durness by ferry boat and then travel twelve miles by minibus along a track, which in winter can be difficult to negotiate. On 17 January 1977 the helicopter carried out the Cape Wrath Relief - a history making moment as this was the first helicopter relief carried out at a shore-based Scottish lighthouse. As the lighthouse is not easily accessible by road, all stores including household goods and spare parts as well as the diesel and paraffin oil required to power the machinery are landed once a year by the Lighthouse Tender MV PHAROS, whose duty it is to convey stores to the isolated lighthouses along the Scottish and Manx coasts. In 1978 the paraffin vapour burner was replaced by mercury vapour lamps and in January 1980 an electrically operated temporary power beam was installed. In December 1980 a completely new gearless pedestal and lamp array system was installed. As well as their primary duties of looking after the light, fog signal and radio beacon, the keepers did most of the maintenance work on the Station. Cape Wrath Lighthouse was converted to automatic status on 31 March 1998 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s offices in Edinburgh.
To report any defects or damage to any of our aids to navigation please telephone our 24 hour freephone emergency number 08000 326655.
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