lighthouse

Anyone that has or will travel the Highlands will be well aware of the Great Lighthouses we have around our clifftops.

Wildlife is in abundance, from seabirds such as the beautiful Wee Puffins to Ganets, as well as excellent opportunities to spot Seals, Whales and Dolphins close by…

What many visitors fail to realise is that all the Lighthouses in the Highlands were constructed and overseen by Lighthouse Engineers from one Family, the Stevenson’s

 

 

 

Robert Stevenson
Robert Stevenson (8 June 1772 – 12 July 1850)

 

They were the Family that Robert Louis Stevenson was part of, the World-renowned Scottish essayist, poet, and author of fiction and travel books, best known for his works Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Virtually all Lighthouses in Scotland can thank their existence to this Family.

Robert Stevenson and his descendants designed most of Scotland’s Lighthouses for over one hundred and fifty years. Battling against the odds and the elements – the Stevensons constructed wonders of engineering that have withstood the test of time, a remarkable historical achievement.

Robert Stevenson was father to 13 children, although on 5 lived into adulthood and three of his sons, Alan (1807-1865), David (1815-1886) and Thomas (RLS’s father, 1818 – 1887),, became lighthouse engineers.
Some of the Highland Lighthouses engineered by Robert Stevenson include Cape Wrath, Tarbat Ness, and Dunnet Head.

lighthouse1
Tarbat Ness Lighthouse

 

Robert Stevenson was born in Glasgow on the 8th June 1772, but his father died when Robert was very young.
His mother had hopes of Robert becoming a Minister, but that did not happen when she remarried Thomas Smith, an engineer for the Northern Lighthouse Board.

Robert became his step-dads assistant and then his partner.
Robert became very successful as a lighthouse engineer, and when he was only, 18 he was put in charge of building a lighthouse on the Ayrshire coast.
Robert had a long career and was Engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board from 1808 until 1842 and was responsible for building at least 15 significant Lighthouses.

Robert eventually died in Edinburgh in 1850, aged 78.

Following his footsteps were his three sons, including Alan, responsible for Noss Head, Chanonry Point, and Cromarty.
The list of Lighthouses that they were responsible for is incredible and indeed a monument to them all.

sinclair & Girnigoe
Castle SInclair Girnigoe

One of our Favourites is Noss Head Lighthouse, which is a great place to view the Northern Lights and close by one of the Best Castles on the Route, Castle Sinclair & Girnigoe.

Cape Wrath is also another well worth a visit, and it is also worth a drive to Stoer, which is located in a stunning part of the Route.

You just can’t visit the Highlands and not see at least one.

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