Rubha an Fhigheadair

Rubha an Fhigheadair Lighthouse
Rubha an Fhigheadair
Height (ft):
Northern Lighthouse Board

Rubha an Fhigheadair (or Weaver’s Point) is a headland just North-East of Lochmaddy on Northern Uist and has been marked by a light since 1912. The original lighthouse at this site was one of the Northern Lighthouse Board's early automatic lights, and likely would've consisted of a white-painted ocagonal metal tower with a small lantern room and gallery. The light would have been fueled by acetylene gas, controlled by a sun valve, as was common at the time. A narrow staircase is carved into the cliff-face and leads from sea-level up to the lighthouse, although there is no obvious landing stage at the base of these steps, nor is there a road connection near the lighthouse for at least 3½ miles miles.

It's not clear precisely when, but the more traditional lighthouse was replaced at some point with a SPLAT (Solar Powered Lattice Aluminium Tower), a type of low maintainance structure that the Northern Lighthouse Board has been rolling out accross the many remote and innacessible promontories and islets around the Scottish coast since 1982. SPLAT structures have the benefit of being very solar powered, lightweight, and they do not require repainting like the older steel lighthouses did, meaning they could potentially operate for years without significant maintainence.

The 20 meter tower is constructed from square aluminium tubing and is clad with white metal panels on all sides serving as a daymark to make the tower stand out against the cliff-face. On the side facing the cliff there is a metal door that gives access to the structure. A small bank of solar panels charge batteries inside the tower which power the LED light.

This lighthouse may be quite a difficult one to reach, although it can be seen distantly from Lochmaddy and closer from ferries entering the small port.