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Cromarty Image Library

Cromarty Lighthouse 1998
The Cromarty Archive
Cromarty Lighthouse 1998

The now automated lighthouse on George St, with the Coastguard Station and Lookout Tower on the right of the picture.
Picture added on 01 January 2003
I found out last weekend that the Lighthouse was permanantly decommissioned on 28th February 2006. In common with other Northern Lights Board decommissioned Lighthouses it is likely to be put up for sale. The Notice to Mariners is on the NLB website.
Added by Arthur Bird on 21 March 2006
Im baffled and maybe I'm thick or something but why don't they need the lighthouse any more? Everything seems to be changing it saddens me maybe I'm just getting old.
Added by Mary Mackay now Tomlinson Harrison on 21 March 2006
hi mary, they still need the lighthouses, its just that they are fully automated, and monitored in edinburgh
no need for permanent keepers. sad but true.
Added by Ain Jack on 22 March 2006
Mary, All the lighthouses around the Scottish coast are 'computer controlled' from Edinburgh . It would
appear from the closing of the 'Light' at Maryness lighthouse, there is adequate navigational provision
from the Cromarty Firth Port Authority's radio / nav / radar services at their Invergordon Office. To-day's GPS aboard all ocean going vessels, would give almost pin point accuracy. However maritime charts are still used as a back-up incase of electrical failure. Does that help?

Added by Clem Watson on 22 March 2006
I think the answer to that, Mary, is very sophisticated navigation equipment, radar and computer technology, which is fine when it works! Doesn't help many of the smaller boat operators though. The lighthouse was built in 1846 so it's provided very sterling service for 160 years and it's sad to see that coming to an end.
Added by Campbell Ross on 22 March 2006
Thanks Ian, Clem & Campbell for the information it makes perfect sense but its very sad. I visited my homeland last in 1986 & 87 and brought my 23 (at the time) year old son with me this was his first visit to the area, and he was very intrested in the lighthouse as indeed was I. I used to watch the flashing light as a child and think how thanks to it wrecks were prevented. I'm sorry to hear of its demise. What is going to become of it? I hope it won't fall into disrepair.
Added by Mary Mackay now Tomlinson Harrison on 22 March 2006
Maybe it's because there's such a blaze of other lights in Cromarty that they don't need the lighthouse anymore?
Added by Colin on 23 March 2006
I can't see anyone wanting to let the lighthouse fall into disrepair, Mary, as it was built like a number of others, by the uncle of the world famous Robert Louis Stevenson, and therefore there is a very sound historic reason for preserving it. I hope I'm right, Cromarty wouldn't be the same without it.
Added by Campbell Ross on 23 March 2006
No Campbell it wouldnt I can't bear to think of Cromarty without the Lighthouse THANK GOD for the net I can keep in touch with home
Added by Mary Mackay now Tomlinson Harrison on 23 March 2006
Partly visible in this shot, to the right of the Lighthouse there is a small grass lawn ...in my early school days a crowd of us used to gather there in the evening glare of the Light ...one particular time we saw a large circle in the grass ..which someone told us ( it could have been Jessie Munro ) That at night ...that's were the the "Fairies" used to come out and dance in a circle !!!? A nice bit of Folklore I suppose in those days !! But wouldn't like to explain it to my kids today .. enough said !

Anyone one esle remember that story ? or was it just Jessie Munro telling me a "pulling my leg" ?
Added by John Macdonald on 26 March 2006
All this talk of Sophisticated Navigation Equiptment and the old Cromarty Rose still uses the compass, (not that we have far to go mind). The most sophisticated piece of equipment aboard us is the Mobile Phone. I remember speaking to a man from the NLB a few years ago and he said it cost 14000 a year to run the automated service from Edinburgh.
Added by Ronald Young on 26 March 2006
John, a number of witches were supposedly put to death or buried (or both) on the site of the lighthouse long ago. Maybe there's some connection. Over the years, the "witches" might have been changed to "fairies" to make it sound less gruesome. Just a guess!
Added by Campbell Ross on 26 March 2006
John I remember the fair sized ring and it would certain years through up fungi of some sort. A possible explanation is that horses were either trained on a rope or used to turn something from the fixed centre. Spores like the manure and once established last a long time. Boats were hauled up on the Links at that area although that is quite far from the shore. Do you remember sliding down the brae in front on bits of cardboard? It took little to amuse simple minds!
Added by Manson.fodderty@btopenworld.com on 26 March 2006
Hi John, I seem to remember being told of people being burnt at the site, which was supposed to be called Maryness, was there not some corpses dug up that were supposed to be headless? or was that Jessie Munro "winding us up as well".
Added by Sue on 26 March 2006
What is happening to the lighthouse now? I stood by it on my visit to the area in April 2011 and was saddened that it has been decommisioned.

Added by Mary Mackay now Tomlinson Harrison on 24 November 2012
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