Pladda Lighthouse is situated at the southern end of the island of Pladda. The 29 metre tall lighthouse dates from 1790 and was designed by Thomas Smith. It was the first light on the Clyde to be commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Lights. It had both an upper and a lower light to distinguish it from the three other lighthouses in the Firth. In 1876 Pladda was about the third station to have a foghorn. The “double lights” were replaced by a powerful flashing system in 1901. Lightkeepers were withdrawn in 1990 when the lighthouse was automated; it is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Boards Headquarters in Edinburgh.
Under normal conditions, its light (three white flashes every 30 seconds) is visible for 17 nautical miles (31 kilometres).
If you’re interested in learning more about Pladda, the island and its lighthouse feature extensively in Peter Hill’s book Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper.
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