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Little Ross Lighthouse

A lighthouse in the centre of the island of Little Ross in Dumfries and Galloway. Comprising a round white-painted tower, which reaches 20m (66 feet) in height, with details highlighted in buff and a black lantern corbelled-out above. Completed in 1843, it was the designed by Alan Stevenson (1807-65) and built by contractor Robert Hume. Its construction closed a gap between the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse and Southerness Lighthouse. It was the first lighthouse to use a catadioptric optical system, having metallic mirrors above and below the lenses. This lighthouse was described by William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin; 1824 - 1907) as being 'undoubtedly the three best revolving lights in the world' (with Buchan Ness and the Rhinns of Islay).

The body of Hugh Clark, a relief lighthouse keeper, was found on the island in 1960 and it became clear that he had been killed by his colleague, Robert Dickson, while the principal keeper was on holiday. After a nationwide inquiry, Dickson was eventually arrested, tried and found guilty of murder. The lighthouse was automated soon after.

The buildings have been B-listed since 1971. The lighthouse remains the property of the Northern Lighthouse Board, although two flat-roofed keepers cottages which lie adjacent are now privately owned. There is a separate front-light 230m (750 feet) to the north northeast.


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