Buchan Ness

Buchan Ness Lighthouse was established in 1827 by Robert Stevenson.


Petitions were received by the Commissioners in 1819 from the Magistrates, town Councils and Harbour trustees of Peterhead, to have a lighthouse erected on Buchan Ness or any more eligible part of the coast. The area was surveyed by Robert Stevenson, Engineer to the Board (also grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson), who decided on the present position of the village Boddam. It was not, however, until 1827 that the light was exhibited.
John Gibb of Aberdeen was the contractor responsible for the building of Buchan Ness. The red bands were added In 1907 to distinguish it as a day mark.

During the Second World War, a drifting mine washed ashore and exploded 50 yards south of the station. No one was injured and the material damage consisted of 3 lantern panes cracked and 12 other glass panes broken in the tower, engine room and dwelling houses. Part of the ceilings of the kitchen and one bedroom of the 1st Assistant’s house were brought down and the locks, hinges and bolts of 4 doors damaged. There were also 20 slates blown off the roof storehouse.

There have been many changes since 1827 in the light, in 1910 to dioptric, in 1978 the lantern was especially enlarged with the candlepower raised from 6,500 to 786,000 and in 1978, it was converted to electric operation, candlepower 2,000,000.

The lighthouse was automated in 1988 and is now remotely monitored from NLB’s headquarters in Edinburgh. The fog horn was discontinued in 2000.

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.


Year Established



Robert Stevenson


Latitude   57°28.227'N
Longitude 001°46.474'W


Flashing White every 5 Seconds


40 metres


18 nautical miles


White tower 35 metres high with red bands (hand painted on tower 1907) There are 166 steps to top of tower.

Public Access


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