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Hynish


Argyll and Bute

A hamlet in the south of the Inner Hebridean island of Tiree, Hynish was built 1837-43 by engineer Alan Stevenson (1807-65) to support the Skerryvore Lighthouse, initially as a base for the construction workers but then becoming the shore-station to resupply the beacon during its operation. The settlement principally comprises two courts of buildings; a Lower Square which included service buildings and workers' cottages and an Upper Square that provided homes for the lighthouse keepers and their families. The lighthouse keepers were provided with walled gardens to grow their own vegetables. A cylindrical Signal Tower, which reaches a height of 9.3m (31 feet), was the only means of communication with the lighthouse during stormy seas.

A substantial granite pier sits alongside a small harbour which was cleared of silt by an ingenious flushing system designed by Stevenson using water from a reservoir on a hill to the west, and controlled by wooden sluice gates. It was here that granite blocks were received from the Ross of Mull, carved to shape by an army of eighty stonemasons and loaded for delivery to the lighthouse, which is located on a reef, 11 miles (18 km) to the south southwest.

Most of the buildings were restored from 1982 by the Hebridean Trust and today form part of the Hynish Centre, which includes a museum and exhibition.


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