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Little Cumbrae Old Lighthouse

A former lighthouse on the summit of Lighthouse Hill at the centre of the island of Little Cumbrae, this circular masonry tower is 8.5m (28 feet) in height and was built in 1757 by James Ewing for the Cumbrae Lighthouse Trust at a cost of £140, 5 shillings and 8 pence. The Trust which was created by the merchants and magistrates of Glasgow improve safety for ships navigating within the Firth of Clyde. It burned coal in an iron grate at the top of the tower to create the light and this coal was landed at a small wharf on the shore. A house for the lightkeeper was built just to the north of the tower at the same time.

The limitations of a coal-fired light and the tower's hilltop position which mean the light was often hidden by cloud led to the construction of a new Little Cumbrae Lighthouse a quarter-mile (0.5 km) to the west and the Old Lighthouse was abandoned in 1793. The tower was restored in 1956 by the Clyde Lighthouses Trust.


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