There are two lighthouses on Holy Island. The island is located on the eastern side of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde.
Holy Island (Inner) Lighthouse is located at the south western end of the island facing the east coast of Arran. It was built in 1877 and was originally referred to as Lamlash Lighthouse. It was also known in the service as “Wee Donald”.
Originally it exhibited a fixed green light, and it was automated in 1977.
On the eastern side of the island is the Holy Island Outer Lighthouse. Located at Pillar Rock Point, it is also known as Pillar Rock Lighthouse and was the first lighthouse to be built as a square tower.
The lighthouse was originally lit by paraffin, and the tower accommodated the lighthouse keepers.
Following the establishment of the Outer Lighthouse in 1905, an extra keeper was stationed at the Inner Light. This meant that both towers could be tended by one set of keepers. The lighthouses are around half a mile apart.
Holy Island has been used as a spiritual retreat dating back to the 6th century.
Since 1992 the island has been in the care of the Holy Island Project, with a Buddhist theme of meditation, contemplation and relaxation. The former island farmhouse has been converted and enlarged into the Centre for World Peace and Health.
The former keepers’ cottages at the Inner Light are now used as a retreat. Here, female residents spend up to 39 months in residence.
The island can be accessed by boat from Lamlash, and can be visited for the day. Retreats can also be organised and courses are also run by the centre.