The Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust (NLHT) is a registered charity. It was formed in 2009 and is dedicated to preserving our lighthouse heritage. Find out more about the projects we have supported and how to apply for funding for your own project.


  • Support research into the production of books, poems, music, paintings and articles
  • Support the production of books, poems, music, paintings and articles about the above work
  • Support the acquisition for public benefit, and the preservation, conservation and display of books, paintings, artefacts, charts and other relevant memorabilia about lighthouses and aids to navigation
  • Support public exhibitions of photographs, paintings, and memorabilia about the work of NLB and others in providing lighthouses and aids to navigation in Scotland and the Isle of Man
  • Support the conservation of lighthouse heritage including aids to navigation
  • Support the publication of packs for schools dealing with the history of lighthouses, the importance of the Scottish contribution to the development of lighthouses around the world, and the lives of those who worked for NLB and of their families
  • Encourage local children to have knowledge and understanding about their ‘local’ lighthouse and those who worked and lived there
  • Support and maintain a network of friends or associates of the Trust based on former employees and families of employees of the Northern Lighthouse Board
  • Through the network of friends or associates, to retain that history through writings and recordings and contributions from them of artefacts, letters and photographs
  • Promote scholarship and research into such history and thereby help promote the other activities of the Trust.

Charity number: SC040872 | Company number: SC365775


We offer funding to projects that meet at least one of the Trust’s objectives. The Trust meets three times a year and we must receive your application form at least 10 days before the meetings.

The next meeting dates are:

  • 10 May 2024
  • 26 September 2024

To apply, please complete the Application Form (PDF)

If you have any questions, contact:



People in a boat

The Oral History Project is a large-scale fieldwork project undertaken by the School of History, Classics & Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. The project involved recording the oral testimonies of former Lighthouse Keepers and their families who served with the Northern Lighthouse Board in Scotland. The third phase of the project focused on Northern Lighthouse Board staff based in Edinburgh. The collected material will be deposited in the School of Scottish Studies Archive, University of Edinburgh, for future researchers.

We are now at an exciting stage of the project which is the launch of the film ‘Lighthouse Lives’. Using the oral history recordings, the 23 minute film captures the lived experiences of the people who worked for NLB, through a time of transition, from manned to automated lighthouses and incorporates the voices of staff past and present with archive film footage and photography. The film is currently touring Scotland. For dates and more information about the tour see the news section of the website.

Listen to Paul Curry discussing his experience of working for the Northern Lighthouse Board.


We continue to support the work of the Museum at Fraserburgh, which includes providing funding for displays and exhibitions. We’re currently looking at how we could help with a permanent display area for a number of significant buoys that were refurbished at our Oban depot. We are also undertaking some research into the history of a number of surviving very old conical riveted buoys.


Scottish and Manx Lighthouses

Following a seven year journey around the Scottish coastline, the book brings together photographer Ian Cowe’s story, his spectacular images, and the story of the Stevenson lighthouse legacy.

Growing up in a seafaring community, Ian was never far from lighthouses and quickly developed a fascination for the buildings’ individual stories. In particular, those created by the iconic engineering dynasty. Travelling by foot, car, boat, plane and helicopter, his dedication has captured the lighthouses’ remoteness and exceptional natural beauty. The book takes you on a journey from St. Abb’s Head on the east coast of Scotland, visiting some of the remote islands in the British Isles, all the way round to Chicken Rock, just off the Isle of Man.

A second print of the book has been published in hardback and is available to buy from our online shop.

All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Heritage Trust.

Rain squall on the Bell Rock by John Lowrie Morrison (Print)

Commissioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board in 2010 to commemorate the Bi Centenary of the lighting of the Bell Rock in 1811. The painting was completed from drawings and photographs done on a previous visit to the Bell Rock by the artist as a GSA student in 1968. The Princess Royal unveiled the painting at the launch of the 200 years celebrations at Holyrood Palace Edinburgh on 3rd February 2011.

The painting has been donated to the NLB and will hang in their headquarters in George St Edinburgh for a year then be passed on to Lighthouse Heritage Trust.

Prints of the painting are available to buy from our online shop.


Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust – Accounts to September 2021

Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust – Accounts to September 2020

Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust – Accounts to September 2019

Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust – Accounts to September 2018

Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust – Accounts to September 2017