The current North Ronaldsay Lighthouse was built in 1852 on the island of the same name and the most northerly in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland. North Ronaldsay was the third lighthouse the Commissioners built, being preceded by Kinnaird Head and Mull of Kintyre.
The first lighthouse or beacon dated back to 1789. In 1806, a lighthouse was built at Start Point, and North Ronaldsay, then considered redundant, was extinguished three years later in 1809. With the coast now in darkness, as the years passed, it became apparent that in fact a light was needed to illuminate the shoals at Reef Duke and Seal Skerry and plans were put in place to build the new lighthouse at Dennis Head. Alan Stevenson was assigned the task and designed the 42 metre lighthouse which remains Britain’s tallest land-based lighthouse tower. In 1889, the red brick tower was painted with two white bands to distinguish it as a day mark.
In 1907, the light was change to incandescent and in 1932 a radio beacon was added.
North Ronaldsay Lighthouse was automated on 30 March 1998.
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