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 another suitable part of the coast.  Robert Stevenson, Engineer to the Board and grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson, surveyed the area and decided on the present position of Boddam village. It wasn’t until 1827 that the light was first exhibited. John Gibb of Aberdeen was the contractor responsible for building the lighthouse. 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 three cracked lantern panes 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 First Assistant’s house were brought down and the locks, hinges and bolts of four doors damaged. There were also 20 slates blown off the roof storehouse.

There have been many changes to the light since 1827 – 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 remotely monitored from NLB’s headquarters in Edinburgh. The fog horn was discontinued in 2000.

When automation happened, the Northern Lighthouse Board sold redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these buildings.


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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