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Flannan Isles Lighthouse

Located on the northern side of Eilean Mor, the largest of the Flannan Isles, the Flannan Isles lighthouse lies 21 miles (34 km) west of Lewis. These islands posed a significant danger to shipping and to mitigate this danger the lighthouse was built in 1899 by engineer David Alan (1854 - 1938) with the assistance of his brother Charles Alexander Stevenson (1855 - 1950). The lighthouse it situated high on the island and its white tower rises 23m (75 feet), emitting a beam with a range of 20 miles (32 km). The light was once served by a shore station at Breasclete on East Loch Roag (Lewis), where the keepers lived with their families when not on duty, although, today, the lighthouse is unmanned, having been automated in 1971.

In December 1900 the three lighthouse keepers disappeared under mysterious circumstances. When a party arrived to determine why the light was not being lit, they found a meal lying uneaten on the table but no trace of the keepers. It is thought they may have been washed into the sea. The incident gained national publicity and is remembered in the poem Flannan Isle by English poet Wilfred Wilson Gibson (1878 - 1962).


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