Lismore lighthouse was built in 1833 by Robert Stevenson and was automated in 1965.


Lismore is situated on Eilean Musdile in the Firth of Lorne at the entrance to Loch Linnhe. This is separated from Lismore island by a Sound ¼ miles broad.

On 13 January 1830 the Commissioners purchased, from Charles Campbell Esq of Combie, the small island of Mansedale, lying off the south west point of Lismore, for the sum of £500. The island extends to approximately ten acres.

James Smith of Inverness was the contractor responsible for building Lismore at the price of £4,260. The light was first exhibited in October 1833 and was fixed white. The report at the time stated the light will doubtless be of great service to numerous vessels which frequent the sounds of Islay, Luing and Mull. It also opened up the firth of Lorne and Loch Linnhe for the western entrance to the Caledonian Canal.

Mr Robert Selkirk, a lineal descendant of Alexander Selkirk, was the first Principal Lightkeeper at Lismore. He had been in the service since 1808. As Lismore was a Rock Station, it was relieved fortnightly so the four Keepers had six weeks on the rock followed by two weeks ashore with their families. Provisions and other light stores were brought by a boatman permanently attached to the Station who also did reliefs.

In 1910 most of the NLB lights were changed to dioptric but Lismore and Fidra were left as the only remaining purely catoptric lights in the service.

The war years provided extra work for the Lightkeepers and in 1940 two Keepers at Lismore rescued, under very difficult conditions, two airmen who were clinging to a piece of wreckage in the sea.

In June 1965 the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation at an estimated cost of £10,000. More than 11 tons of building material was transported from Oban by MV FINGAL. The lightkeepers were then withdrawn.

It should be noted that at some sites the Northern Lighthouse Board have sold redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these buildings.


Year Established



Robert Stevenson


Latitude   56°27.333'N
Longitude 005°36.449'W


Flashing White every 10 seconds


31 metres


17 nautical miles


White tower 26 metres high.

Public Access


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