June was a month of variety for our lighthouse-bagging antics with a couple of de-tours while we were away on short trips.
The first was more of an investigation. Living in the Far North our most visited city is Inverness and during my recent review of lighthouses (according to my definition – see earlier blog post) we discovered the structure that stands at Carnac Point in South Kessock. We had seen it from the Kessock Bridge numerous times and we set aside some spare time during a visit last month to go and see it. My list of lighthouses based on the definition is, in some cases, more of a tentative list as the pictures available online often only show the structures from one angle. This means that it may not be noticeable from online research whether or not there is access into the structure – one of my criteria for defining what constitutes a lighthouse. This was certainly the case with Carnac Point. We suspected that it may be big enough to accommodate a person standing up, but we were unsure.
It’s a nice, short walk out to the structure there and after we had completed a full circuit of the green tower we established for sure that it just didn’t fit the lighthouse bill – due simply to the fact that it only had external ladders and no internal access. Regardless of its status it was still a nice walk with some good views from the beacon. While I mentioned the “new” and the “old” in the title of this post, I can’t find any details on exactly how “new” this beacon actually is.
The following weekend though we had more success with the “old” during a visit to see family in Ayrshire. This one certainly did have internal access – although access was restricted due to the instability of the building. The lighthouse I speak of is on the west pier in Dunure harbour. It is believed to have been built in 1811 and is no longer operational – hence its unstable condition now. Although it is obvious that the lighthouse is eroding it is still a beautiful building and I was delighted to discover after our visit that efforts are underway by the local Community Council and other local groups to raise the £100,000 required to make it safe again to ensure it is repaired before it requires demolition. There is more information about this, as well as details of the lighthouse’s involvement in the rescue of the crew of the Valkyrien in December 1883, at Dunure.net. The sun was shining for our visit and the harbour was nice and calm, a perfect day for lighthouse-bagging and also a great location for throwing stones into the sea as our little boy discovered. 🙂