Brough Of Birsay

The lighthouse is located on the Brough of Birsay, an uninhabited tidal island off the north west coast of Mainland in Orkney, Scotland, in the parish of Birsay.


Standing only 11 metres high but 52 metres above sea level the Brough of Birsay lighthouse marks the north east tip of the Orkney mainland. It was designed and built by David A Stevenson in 1925.

Although very little is known of its history the lighthouse is brick built with white render but is unusual in its design with its castellated tower.
The lighting system is a 35 watt Metal Halide with special etched outer glass envelope, the lighthouse was converted to solar power in 2002. The light is powered by a bank of batteries, which are charged by an array of 36 solar panels and 4 wind turbines.

There is also a generator on site to provide back up power for charging the batteries and to power day mess facilities.
The light is automatically operated, when daylight falls and rises between set levels, a light sensor switches the light on and off.

The light is monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s headquarters in Edinburgh. Maintenance is carried out once a year when Northern Lighthouse Board technicians visit the light.


Year Established



David A Stevenson


Latitude   59°08.214'N
Longitude 003°20.363'W


Flashing (3) White every 25 Seconds


52 metres


18 nautical miles


White castellated tower and building, 11 metres high

Public Access


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