Esha Ness

Esha Ness Lighthouse is situated on the Northmavine peninsula in the north-west of the Shetland Islands. It is sometimes referred to as Esha Ness Lighthouse.

The lighthouse has a tapering, square tower 12 metres (39 ft) high and was built by David Alan Stevenson between 1925 and 1929. It was built from concrete because of the unsuitability of local stone.

It flashes white every 12 seconds and has a nominal range of 25 nautical miles (46 km). The light was automated in 1974 and the former lighthouse keepers’ accommodation now serves as holiday accommodation. It is owned by the Shetland Amenity Trust.


This is an extract from the book Scottish Lighthouses by Sharma Krauskopf, a former owner of the keepers cottage at Esha Ness Lighthouse.

A temporary light powerful enough to give warning of the Ve Skerries eight and half miles offshore was erected in 1915 on the Eshaness peninsula on the north-west coast of mainland Shetland. The light was an iron tower, containing a lantern, machinery and an acetylene generating plant, and was constructed in about two months. The building materials reached the remote location by pony and cart once they arrived on the Shetland Islands. The temporary light was torn down after World War One.

The current Eshaness Lighthouse was built in 1929. (Position on the Nautical Chart is 60° 29.3’N, 1° 37.6’W.). It was the last Northern Lighthouse Board manned facility designed by a member of the Stevenson family, David A. Stevenson being the engineer for the station.

The 37 foot square tower sits on top of a 200 foot cliff. The beacon flashes white every 12 seconds and in 1974 the candlepower was increased to 46, 500 to give the light a nominal range of 25 miles. The small house was home to only one keeper, which was unusual in that most manned facilities had three keepers.

At Stenness, the site of a former fishing station sheltered by Stenness Isle, is a stone cross erected by the Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses in 1927, to mark the spot where supplies for the Eshaness Lighthouse were landed.

Eshaness did not prove to be totally effective in keeping ships away from the Ve Skerries. The Aberdeen trawler Ben Doran was wrecked in the area soon after the lighthouse was built and all hands were lost. Due to heavy oil-tanker traffic bound to and from Sullom Voe, a lighthouse was built on the Ve Skerries in 1979. Eshaness was used as the construction site for the Ve Skerries light.


Year Established



David A & Charles Stevenson


Latitude   60°29.350'N
Longitude 001°37.680'W


Flashing White every 12 seconds


61 metres


25 nautical miles


White square tower 12 metres high.

Public Access


Shetland Amenity Trust

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