History in Structure

Lighthouse And Keepers' Cottages, Dennis Ness, North Ronaldsay

A Category B Listed Building in North Isles, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.3897 / 59°23'22"N

Longitude: -2.3813 / 2°22'52"W

OS Eastings: 378439

OS Northings: 1055996

OS Grid: HY784559

Mapcode National: GBR N3GX.KSQ

Mapcode Global: XH9S2.B892

Plus Code: 9CFV9JQ9+VF

Entry Name: Lighthouse And Keepers' Cottages, Dennis Ness, North Ronaldsay

Listing Name: North Ronaldsay, Versa Breck, North Ronaldsay Lighthouse, Including Keepers' Houses, Boundary Walls and Foghorn

Listing Date: 8 December 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 337393

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB5892

Building Class: Cultural

Also known as: North Ronaldsay, Dennis Ness, Lighthouse And Keepers' Cottages

ID on this website: 200337393

Location: Cross and Burness

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Parish: Cross And Burness

Traditional County: Orkney

Tagged with: Lighthouse

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North Ronaldsay


Alan Stevenson, 1852. 8-stage with lantern, circular-plan tapered tower standing to E of single storey, 8-bay rectangular-plan symmetrical keepers' accommodation block. Tower: brick, painted in thick, alternating, horizontal stripes with droved, polished and painted ashlar and concrete dressings; channelled ashlar at 8th stage. Base course; band course between 7th and 8th stages; thick band course below cast-iron railings around lantern balcony, supported by pointed, machiolations. Long and short margins to windows. Keepers' accommodation: harled with painted ashlar dressings. Base course; blocking course. Large rectangular-plan garden to rear (W) of keepers' block; semicircular-plan foghorn to E of lighthouse.

TOWER: openings to W side. Massive projecting, tapered door surround with string course below cavetto cornice and shallow pediment at 1st stage; deep-set part-glazed, 2-leaf, timber panelled doors. Window at each stage above, (pointed-arched window at 8th stage). Triangular-pane glass to cylindrical lantern above; hemispherical dome above.

INTERIOR: spiral stone staircase with timber handrail; timber and iron stair with brass handrail to lamp-room; original winding and lamp-revolving gear to centre of lamp-room; ventilators to lamp-room with decorative brass covers depicting heads of wind gods; decorative lattice walkway around lantern; triangular pane apexes bearing lion masks; riveted dome ceiling with central ventilator; stout horizontally boarded door with brass furniture to external balcony.

KEEPERS' HOUSES: E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: bays grouped 2-1-2-1-2. Window in bays to centre. Deep-set, 2-leaf boarded door with small-pane fanlight in bays to left and right flanking. Window in penultimate and outer bays to left and right.

12-pane timber sash and case windows. Platform roof; tall, tapered ashlar stacks, grouped 2-2, with string course below cavetto cornice; tall cans; cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: not seen, 1998.

BOUNDARY WALLS: random rubble wall with rubble cope enclosing rectangular-plan garden to W of accommodation block.

FOG HORN: tapered, short semicircular-plan block housing 2 foghorns, raised on steel gantries. Harled concrete. Square-plan operations hut immediately to W; boarded door to S.

Statement of Interest

At 42.3 metres, the North Ronaldsay is Britain's tallest land-based lighthouse. William Kinghorn of Leith tendered to build it for ?681 8s 7d. Due to the lack of raw materials available on North Ronaldsay, and the difficulties involved in transporting them, the Lighthouse Board chose to build the tower from brick, confining the use of stone to the base and the arched corbels of the external gallery. This gallery, along with the brass Grecian heads which decorate the lamproom and the massive, Egyptian-inspired tower entrance, are features which can be found at Hoy High on Graemsay (see separate list description), also designed by Alan Stevenson.

External Links

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