Scurdie Ness

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse was built in 1870 by David & Thomas Stevenson. The lighthouse is listed as a building of Architectural/Historic interest.


In 1867 the sea-faring community of Ferryden made representations to the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses to have a light established on Montrose Point at the rock-bound shore stretching between the Bell Rock and Girdle Ness which had been the scene of numerous shipwrecks and great loss of life.

The lighthouse was built by David and Thomas Stevenson and on Tuesday 1 March 1870 at 1800 hours the tower was lit for the first time amidst cheers from the multitude gathered on the links and the sands.

Originally the light character was fixed white but in 1907 was changed to isophase white 60 seconds (i.e, light 30 seconds, eclipse 30 seconds). The light currently flashes (3) white every 20 seconds and has a range of 23 nautical miles.

At some of the isolated stations the war added immensely to the lightkeepers work. At Scurdie Ness, not content with being the butt of the RAF for ‘Lighting up’ on naval instructions and so guiding the German Bombers in, one lightkeeper had to paint the whole tower black so that it would not also provide a day mark for the enemy.

Scurdie Ness was converted to automatic operation in 1987.

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 buildings.



Year Established



David & Thomas Stevenson


Latitude   56°42.106'N
Longitude 002°26.238'W


Flashing (3) White every 20 seconds


34 metres


20 nautical miles


White tower 39 metres high. There are 170 steps to top of tower

Public Access


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