Muckle Flugga Lighthouse

(North Unst Lighthouse)

Located on one of several rocky islets which lie off Herma Ness on the north coast of the Shetland island of Unst, Muckle Flugga is the most northerly lighthouse in the United Kingdom. A first lighthouse was quickly established here in 1854, on the orders of the Admiralty, to protect navy ships at the time of the Crimean War. A permanent structure was completed in 1858 but the strength of a building which had to withstand fierce Atlantic storms meant that it cost the then enormous sum of £32,000. The construction was the work of lighthouse engineers David (1815-86) and Thomas Stevenson (1818-87), the latter being the father of author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) who visited Muckle Flugga in 1869.

Originally known as North Unst lighthouse, it was renamed Muckle Flugga in 1964. The lighthouse was automated in 1995 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board Headquarters in Edinburgh. Its white tower stands 20m (66 feet) high and the light has a range of 22 miles (35 km).

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