The day the first modern Scots lighthouse was lit

Lighthouse Museum.

Lighthouse Museum.

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1787

On this day in 1787, the first modern lighthouse in Scotland was lit in Fraserburgh.

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

Built by Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson at Kinnaird Head, the lighthouse was built on top of a 16th-century castle, and is now Scotland’s Lighthouse Museum.

After a series of destructive storms hit Scottish coasts in 1782. the UK Parliament of the day passed an act that called for lighthouses in nothern parts of Britain to be built.

The Northern Lighthouse Trust was established and Edinburgh inventor Thomas Smith hired to put four lighthouses in place.

The Northern Lighthouse Trust later became the Northern Lighthouse Board, and today it remains responsible for Scotland’s lighthouses.

Alex Salmon on a visit to the Lighthouse Museum in Fraserburgh.

Alex Salmon on a visit to the Lighthouse Museum in Fraserburgh.

Thomas Smith was the stepfather of Robert Stevenson, the first of the “Lighthouse Stevensons”, the family who were largely responsible for the building of Scotland’s lighthouses until as recently as 1938.

The location of Scotland’s first “official” lighthouse, which lit up for the first time on 1 December 1787, was at Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh.

It remained in operation until replaced by a nearby automated light in the early 1990s.

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