Monuments: Skerryvore Lighthouse

When Alan Stevenson's great lighthouse on Skerryvore in the Hebrides was first lighted in 1844, it was only the fifth of the wave- washed towers built as guides to shipping round the British coasts. It was the tallest and most massive of the five, and though others have since joined that select company, and exceeded it in both height and mass, Skerryvore is still considered never to have been excelled in beauty of proportion and design.

It had as predecessors John Smeaton's slender Eddystone, 1759, off Plymouth in the English Channel; Thomas Rogers' dumpy South Rock or Kilwarlin, 1797, three miles off the Ards peninsula in County Down; Robert Stevenson's wide-based Bell Rock, l 811, ten miles from the Angus coast at the entrance to the Firth of Tay; and George Halpin's almost forgotten Haulbowline, 1830, at the entrance to Carlingford Lough also in Co. Down. The first two have been superseded, the third is an unwatched light, and only the Bell Rock is still a manned lighthouse.

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