Eilean Glas, Scalpay

Eilean Glas, Scalpay

This particular Eilean Glas is actually a peninsula of Scalpay in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Eilean Glas is of particular interest as it is home to an historic lighthouse.

Eilean Glas means "Grey/Green Island" in Gaelic.


Eilean Glas lies on the west coast of Scalpay at gbmapping|NG247948. The island is just 300 metres long and rises no more than 30 metres above sea level.

The island projects out considerably into the busy shipping lane of the Minch which is likely why it was decided to place a lighthouse here. The lighthouse lies in the south at Rubh' an Eòrna.

A track across the narrow isthmus connects Eilean Glas to Scalpay.

In recent times a radio mast has been erected on Eilean Glas.

The Lighthouse

Eilean Glas Lighthouse was one of the original four lights to be commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Lights and the first in the Hebrides (the others were Kinnaird Head, Mull of Kintyre and North Ronaldsay).

The engineer who built these lighthouses was Thomas Smith. The light was first displayed in 1789 and the original tower was replaced in 1824 by Smith's stepson Robert Stevenson.

The lighthouse was an early candidate for automation and this was carried out in 1978. The local community of Scalpay are currently attempting a community buyout.

In 2004, the owners the lighthouse building were convicted of theft and of running a fraudulent charity to pay for the mortgage on the property. However, a recent court appeal has confirmed the legitimacy of the trust, and that it does own the property. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/dorset/3674781.stm] .

External links

* [http://www.nlb.org.uk/ourlights/history/eileanglas.htm Northern Lighthouse Board site on the history of Eilean Glas Lighthouse]

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