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  • Shore stations
Hynish Signal Tower
Hynish Signal Tower and former shore station

Hynish Signal Tower was built on the island of Tiree to signal to the Skerryvore Lighthouse Keepers.

The island of Tiree was also chosen as a base for constructing Skerryvore Lighthouse, 11 miles offshore from the island. 

Between 1836 and 1837, quarries were opened and a pier constructed at Hynish, on the southwest of Tiree. 


Thomas Campbell was the first Signalman at Hynish.  A lookout was kept between 9-10 am and 2-3 pm, hoping to catch a glimpse of a signal from the lighthouse.  The signal was acknowledged by hoisting a ball to the top of the flagstaff on the Signal Tower at Hynish. 

An ingenious signal was displayed if a keeper’s wife gave birth whilst her husband was on duty. Either a pair of trousers or a dress would be hoisted to the top of the flagstaff to state whether the keeper had a son or daughter.

By 1849 school teachers were appointed to Hynish, where the keepers families lived.  In the summer of 1892, the Skerryvore families were moved from Hynish to the island of Erraid off Mull.  Here they joined families of those from Dubh Artach Lighthouse.


When the Hebridean Trust was formed in 1982, the buildings beside the Hynish pier provided limited shelter from the elements to a few local boats. Though sturdily built over 150 years earlier as part of the Skerryvore Lighthouse project, the buildings were well on their way to ruin. 

In partnership with the Highlands and Islands Development Board, the Hebridean Trust created one of the biggest visitor facilities on Tiree. The excellent museum, originally housed in the Signal Tower, has since been moved to a larger centre next to Morton Boyd House.

Skerryvore Museum
Skerryvore Museum