Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

Mull of Galloway Lighthouse is located at Scotland’s most southerly point.

In 1828 construction started on the lighthouse.  Designed by Robert Stevenson, it was first lit in 1830. The light displayed an occulting light, made by moving two opaque cylindrical shades up and down to obscure the light at fixed intervals. 

The cost of this lighthouse was around £9,000.  The contractor responsible for the building was Brebner and Scott of Edinburgh.

In the early 1900s, a fog siren was installed, sounding two blasts every 3 minutes.  This was altered in 1920 to two blasts every one and a half minutes.  The fog signal has since been discontinued.


During the Second World War, on 8th June 1944 at 7.30pm a Beaufighter aircraft crashed into the lighthouse stores building.  It was foggy at the time, and two men were killed as part of the roof was blown off.

Originally powered by Argand oil lamps, a paraffin vapour burner later replaced these.  The PVB was in use until the lighthouse was converted to mains electricity in 1971. The light was later changed to a sealed-beam unit, mounted on a gearless revolving pedestal.  This has since been replaced by two LED lanterns.

Lighthouse beam

The high walls around the lighthouse courtyard caused strong whirlwinds.  This interfered with the keepers’ lookout, so in 1907, the walls were lowered.

One of the outhouses within the complex originally housed the workmen who built the lighthouse.  This was later extended to act as a byre (cowshed) for the lighthouse keepers. The derelict building was restored, and is now used as a visitor centre, renovated to blend in with its surroundings. 

Mull of Galloway

In July 2013, the Northern Lighthouse Board sold off part of its property including the lighthouse keepers cottages, engine room, RSPB centre, foghorn and adjacent land. This property was bought by the South Rhinns Community Development Trust as a community buy out. In 2012 the Mull of Galloway Trust was formed to work in partnership with the South Rhinns Trust. 

The former engine room is now run as a visitor centre.

Nearby the Gallie Craig Coffee House affords excellent views across to the Isle of Man and Irish coast.

The former keepers’ cottages are set within an RSPB reserve, with plenty of opportunity for birdwatching. 

Visitor Centre

Lighthouse Gravestone

At nearby Kirkmaiden Church is a gravestone in the shape of a lighthouse dedicated to James B Scott. James was the son of Principal Lighthouse Keeper Scott from Mull of Galloway Lighthouse.

He died in March 1852 just short of his 11th birthday. He had fallen from some scaffolding at the lighthouse whilst work was being carried out. The headstone is still painted and maintained.

Lighthouse Gravestone
Lighthouse Gravestone at Kirkmaiden Cemetery
Established: 1830
Engineer: Robert Stevenson
Tower Height: 26 metres
Light Character: Fl W 20 s
Light Range: 28 miles
Elevation: 99 metres
Automated: 1988