Carraig Fhada Lighthouse is the square iconic lighthouse to be found at the entrance of the bay opposite Port Ellen. It’s a famous landmark on Islay and a welcoming sign for visitors entering the island by ferry. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1832 by Walter Frederick Campbell in memory of Lady Ellenor Campbell. Building construction was undertaken by David Hamilton & son, who was the foremost architect in the west of Scotland for a half century until his death in 1843. They also built the marble casket for Ellenor which lies in Bowmore Round Church. The building was taken over by the Northern Lighthouse board as an unmanned light in 1924 and converted to propane gas operation in 1963.
Visiting Carraig Fhada Lighthouse
From Port Ellen follow the road towards the Oa Peninsula. At the cemetery go left and park directly on your right. Continue on foot and walk along the seaside towards the East. Carraig Fhada Lighthouse can be found at the end of the single track road which is NOT open for cars to drive on. It’s a walk of less than a mile. You can walk over the metal bridge an admire the lighthouse from up close. From here you can read the inscription of Carraig Fhada Lighthouse above the door, see below. From the lighthouse a track goes up which will take you to the lovely and secluded Singing Sands Beach.
Wildlife near the Lighthouse
On quite a few occasions Feral Goats can be seen in the vicinity of the Lighthouse, also close to the Singing Sands beach. Otters often use the concrete plateau at the back of the lighthouse to enjoy their breakfast!
Inscription Carraig Fhada Lighthouse
Ye who mid storms and tempests stray in
dangers midnight hour.
Behold where shines this friendly ray and
hail its guardian tower.
Tis but faint emblem of her light my fond
and faithful guide.
Whose sweet example meekin bright led
through this worlds eventful tide my happy course aright.
And still my guiding star she lives in realms
of bliss above.
Still to my heart blest influence gives and
prompts to deeds of love.
Tis she that bids me on the steep kindle this
To light the wanderer o`er the deep who safe
shall bless her name.
So may sweet virtue lead your way that
when life`s voyage is o`er.
Secure like her with her you may attain the