About Barra Head Lighthouse
Lighthouses, Towers, Architecture, Interesting Places, Other Towers
Barra Head Lighthouse on Barra Head identifies the southern entrance to The Minch, roughly halfway between the Eilean Glas and Rinns of Islay lighthouses. The 58 foot (18 m) stone tower, built in 1833, stands on the west side of the island, at the top of a very steep cliff, making the light the highest in the UK with a focal plane of 682 feet (208 m) above sea level. It has a range of 18 nautical miles (21 mi; 33 km). There is no shallow water west of Berneray to break the blow of the Atlantic storms and small fish are sometimes thrown onto the grass on the cliff top. In 1836 Sir Archibald Geikie recorded the movement of a 42 long tons (43 t) block of gneiss across 5 feet (1.5 m) of ground during a violent storm.