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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse facts for kids

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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse (19371224950).jpg
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is located in Shetland
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
Sumburgh Head Lighthouse
Location in Shetland
Location Sumburgh Head
Coordinates 59°51′15″N 1°16′29″W / 59.854053°N 1.274585°W / 59.854053; -1.274585
Year first constructed 1821
Automated 1991
Construction masonry tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Height 17 metres (56 ft)
Focal height 91 metres (299 ft)
Range 23 nautical miles (43 km; 26 mi)
Characteristic Fl (3) W 30s.
Admiralty number A3766
NGA number 3320
ARLHS number SCO-232

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Sumburgh Head at the southern tip of the Mainland of Shetland.


Sumburgh Foghorn & Lighhouse IMG 4374 (13518803255)
Foghorn and lighthouse
Diamond lattice window of the cylindrical lantern

The lighthouse was built by Robert Stevenson in 1821 and is the oldest lighthouse in Shetland. From 1906 until 1987 there was also an active foghorn, which is traversable in azimuth. This replaced a fog bell which had been presented after the loss of the Royal Victoria in 1864. The bell now hangs in the parish church at Dunrossness. The light was automated in 1991 and the keepers' houses were converted into holiday accommodation. The foghorn was restored in 2015 and sounds on special occasions.[1] [2] The lighthouse complex also has offices for the RSPB who look after the bird reserve which surrounds the lighthouse.

The Northern Lighthouse Board operate the light, whilst the Shetland Amenity Trust own the site and plan to restore the lighthouse facilities and build a visitor centre. The lighthouse is protected as a category A listed building.

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