Barns Ness Lighthouse is located 5 km from Dunbar and was constructed by the engineers and brothers David A. Stevenson and Charles Alexander Stevenson, between 1899 and 1901. It took approximately 2½ years to construct and was built from stone quarried from Craigree (near Cramond) and Barnton. The 37 metre tall tower is slightly tapered with a circular lantern displaying triangular panes and a domed roof. The keepers’ cottages are typical, one floored, flat roofed buildings. The lintel above the door to the lighthouse is dated 1901.
The stone proved resilient during the Second World War, when the lighthouse was machine-gunned yet sustained no damage.
The lighthouse was manned by two lighthouse-keepers until 1966 when it was electrified, with a backup generator and emergency battery. It remained semi-automated, requiring only a single keeper, until 1986, when it was completely automated. The power of the sealed beam light system was up to 1,300,000 candlepower.
In early 2005, the UK and Ireland lighthouse authorities issued a consultation regarding a review of lighthouses, and it was decided that the Barns Ness Lighthouse was no longer needed. It was deactivated in October 2005. It was put up for sale in 2006.
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