Rova Head

Rova Head Lighthouse
Rova Head
Current Version Built:
Height (ft):
Northern Lighthouse Board

Located at the northern entrance to the Bressay Sound and Lerwick Harbour, a lighthouse was first established on a small island off of Rova Head in 1904. The original lighthouse was to a very similar design to the one at Firths Voe, near the terminal for the ferry to Yell.

By the 2000s many of the early automatic lights around the Scottish coast were reaching the ends of their serviceable lives. Being of iron construction they were susceptible to corrosion, required higher levels of maintenance such as regular repainting, cleaning, and refuelling compared to modern alternatives.

In 2002 the original lighthouse was replaced with a less traditional looking but cheaper to maintain solar-powered lattice aluminium tower (SPLAT), which has become the standard design for new lighthouses in Scotland. As the name suggests, the light is solar-powered, with electricity being stored in banks of batteries in the lower portion of the tower. These structures should be able to go much longer between maintenance visits, as they do not require fuel or repainting.

The top of the lighthouse has a small red-painted lantern which along with a projector gives the main white navigation light, plus a red and green sector. These lights flash three times every 18 seconds.

Rova Head Lighthouse is viewable from a layby north of Lerwick on the road into Gremista, near the wind turbine.