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Sundial, Skadan Lighthouse, Fair Isle

A Category B Listed Building in Shetland South, Shetland Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 59.5137 / 59°30'49"N

Longitude: -1.6525 / 1°39'8"W

OS Eastings: 419768

OS Northings: 1069804

OS Grid: HZ197698

Mapcode National: GBR Q38L.9LD

Mapcode Global: XHBZJ.V4WF

Plus Code: 9CFWG87X+F2

Entry Name: Sundial, Skadan Lighthouse, Fair Isle

Listing Name: Fair Isle, Head of Tind, South Fair Isle Lighthouse, Including Outbuilding, Sundial, Former Toilets and Petrol Store, Fog Horn House, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers, Former Lifeboat House, Winch, and Se

Listing Date: 18 October 1977

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 336838

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB5411

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunrossness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland South

Parish: Dunrossness

Traditional County: Shetland

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Description

David and Charles Stevenson, dated 1891, with accommodation block of 1948. Lighthouse complex enclosed within rectangular boundary wall comprising principal building with 4-stage tower to rear (S), fog horn house centred to S, accommodation block to N, and variety of outbuildings along W wall. 19th century former semaphore signal on hill to N; late 19th century former lifeboat house at shore to E. Buildings and tower constructed of harled and painted brick and concrete.

PRINCIPAL BUILDING: single storey, 11-bay (grouped 2-7-2) near- symmetrical offices with 4-stage tower centred to rear. Concrete base course and wallhead cope; projecting cills to windows.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: principal entrance door in centre bay with oval datestone and lighthouse armorial panel rising into stepped wallhead centred above flanked by brick pilasters. 3 closely-spaced and regularly-fenestrated bays at right; 3 closely-spaced bays at left with wide segmental arch in left bay; segmental-arched doors and windows respectively in penultimate and outer bays bay at left and right. Raised wallhead over centre bays

SIDE ELEVATIONS: symmetrical, regularly fenestrated 2-bay elevations.

S ELEVATION AND TOWER: 5-bay symmetrical elevation with tower projecting in centre bay and regular fenestration in flanking bays. 4-stage tower comprising circular concrete plinth at base, battered shaft with string courses between each stage and narrow 2-pane fixed- lights with long and short dressings at 1st and 2nd stages to S, 2nd and 3rd stages to N, and 3rd stage to E; cast-iron brackets supporting balcony with cast-iron handrail around upper stage comprising cylindrical murette with portholes and door; cast-iron cleaning path around lantern triangular-paned glazing, surmounted by dome with arrow vane to vent.

ACCOMMODATION BLOCK: 2-storey, 9-bay (grouped 3-3-3) symmetrical staff quarters of traditional design. Harled walls with concrete and brick dressings, all painted. Base course, painted cills to windows

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: piend-roofed single storey porch with 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber doors in each side projecting at centre; bipartite windows centred above, and at ground and 1st floors in flanking bays. Symmetrical 3-bay groups to outer left and right comprising narrow windows to ground and 1st floor at centre with regular fenestration in flanking bays.

E ELEVATION: 2-storey porch with dog-leg concrete external stair to vertically-boarded timber door in S side; windows at each floor in E side, vertically-boarded timber doors at ground in re-entrant at right, and at outer right, the latter with window centred above.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 6-bay symmetrical elevation with bipartite windows at ground and 1st floors of centre 4 bays, and regular fenestration in bays to outer left and right.

W ELEVATION: mirrored image of E elevation.

12 and 6-pane timber sash and case windows. Corrugated sheet cladding to shallow-pitched roof with bracketted block skewputts; bracketted metal box gutters and cast-iron downpipes.

OUTBUILDING: single storey, flat-roofed block. Base course, eaves course and margined openings. Asymmetrical courtyard elevation comprising wide 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door off-set to right of centre, 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door to left and window to outer left; 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door to outer right with window adjacent to left.

FORMER TOILETS AND PETROL STORE: single storey, 4-bay former toilets; vertically-boarded timber door with rectangular fanlight in each bay; monopitch roof.

FOG HORN HOUSE: shuttered concrete 2-stage tower comprising hexagonal lower stage with 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door in N face and 6-pane fixed-lights, corbelled out to semicircular upper stage (now with modern horns 1996).

SUNDIAL: bollard-like cast-iron plinth to sundial (now removed), on square stone base.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: coped cement-rendered and whitewashed battered rubble boundary wall, S wall articulated in semi-octagonal form around horn house. Square gatepiers with pyramidal caps.

SEMAPHORE: 19th century, on hill to N. Former timber semaphore signal comprising paired uprights clasping pin-jointed beam.

FORMER LIFEBOAT HOUSE AND WINCH: symmetrical gabled lifeboat house comprising vertically-boarded timber round-arched door centring E gable and 8-pane timber sash and case windows in 2-bay side elevations. Harled walls and modern corrugated sheet roof. Open timber stair to gallery at W end of interior. Cast-iron winch at beach to E.

Statement of Interest

A fascinating group of buildings that presides over the south end of the island. South Fair Isle Lighthouse is best known for the tragic death of the keeper's family when the buildings were hit by heavy calibre machine-gun fire in December 1941, and then hit again six weeks later. The tower still bears the scars of these attacks, and the functional, but well-designed accommodation block that replaced the destroyed original stands as a reminder of the event.

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