Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, designed by David Stevenson, was built in 1862. Unusual for a lighthouse in Scotland, it is constructed of red brick, and left unpainted. The light is fixed, and sits inside a large lens. The lens revolves around the light, thus giving the familiar flashing effect. The station was automated in 1998, one of the last to be converted. A modern differential GPS base station has now been sited on a nearby hill to further aid navigation and this hill was also the site for a Lloyd’s Signal Station dating from the 1890s.
The station became the radio link for the keepers on the isolated Flannan Islands in the early 1930’s, and continued to function as such until 1971, when the Flannans was demanned, and the light made automatic. Today, the Butt of Lewis acts as the monitoring station for the automatic light on the Flannans, North Rona and Sula Sgeir and is the radio control station for the North Minch area.
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