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Oxcars Lighthouse

Oxcars Lighthouse first came into operation on 15th February 1886.

Originally lit using an oil burner, It was the first manned Northern Lighthouse Board lighthouse to be converted to automatic operation in 1894. 

A concrete platform was erected on the rock to house the three gasholders, which were replaced every fortnight from the nearby Granton Depot.


The automatic gas light was operated by clockwork. It had to be wound up every fortnight when the engineers changed the gas supply.  The flame was always alight, but its intensity increased during hours of darkness. This mechanism was later replaced with an AGA sun valve.

In 1981 tragedy struck when the Lighthouse Attendant drowned just off the Oxcars Lighthouse.

The original mechanism from the lighthouse is on display at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

Whilst the lighthouse is visible from the shoreline, one of the best ways to see it is by boat. There are sightseeing cruises that depart from Hawes Pier at South Queensferry.

Oxcars Lighthouse

  • Established 1886
  • Height of tower: 22 metres
  • Character: Fl(2) W R 7 s
  • Elevation: 16 metres
  • Automated: 1894
  • Engineers: Thomas and David A Stevenson