For centuries, Scotland’s lighthouses have pierced the darkness and guided mariners safely home to their families through some of the country’s most dangerous waters.
And to celebrate their importance to Scotland’s coastal and maritime heritage, a special project will be carried next year out by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to determine which ones meet the criteria to become historically listed buildings.
The conservation body will work in partnership with the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) and undertake a review of the listed and unlisted lighthouses it owns.
Scotland’s very first lighthouse was built as far back as the 17th century, and although nowadays some are defunct, the iconic buildings served crucial roles in ensuring the safe passage of ships.
As well as examining the listed status of some of Scotland’s oldest lighthouses, the year-long project will also consider some of the more modern buildings constructed in the latter half of the 20th century.
Philip Robertson, deputy head of designations at HES, said: “There are around 150 listed lighthouses throughout the country and they are not only wonderful landmarks but a testament to Scotland’s exceptional engineering achievements.
“There are a range of lighthouses that have never been assessed for listing, including some dating from the 1970s and 1980s, so we’re really excited to look at these structures for the first time and explore their potential.
“By reviewing and updating the records of these fascinating buildings, we will be able to offer more information about what makes them special to help their future care and maintenance.”
By achieving listed status, the properties will be afforded special protection during local planning processes.
Mike Bullock, chief executive of the NLB, said: “We place a great deal of importance on the preservation and sharing of our remarkable history and we are delighted to be working on this project with HES during Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.
“Many of our lighthouses are now more than 200 years old, but they continue to serve the same purpose when they were built – to guide all mariners safely through Scottish and Isle of Man waters.
“It will be enormously helpful to determine the appropriate listed status for our lights built in the 1970s and 1980s.”