Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

BARRA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE, KEEPER'S HOUSE, GRAVEYARD, ANCILLARY STRUCTURES, GARDEN AND BOUNDARY WALLSLB5893

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
05/10/1971
Supplementary Information Updated
13/09/2001
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Planning Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Parish
Barra
NGR
NL 54898 80253
Coordinates
54898, 780253

Description

Robert Stevenson, engineer, 1833. Battered, circular lighthouse tower with single storey, 7-bay, flat-roofed base with curved outer wall standing 683' above high water. Whitewashed squared and coursed rubble with ashlar margins. Base course with cornice and low parapet to base.

LIGHTHOUSE: tall door at ground and further doors to low flanking bays wrapping around tower forming semicircular base.

Narrow windows, those close to top smaller. Corbelled walkway with ironwork parapet giving way to lantern with diagonal astragals and finialled domed cap.

KEEPER'S HOUSE: symmetrical. Stepped principal elevation with single window to each bay, set-back centre bay with stone cross finial at wallhead, slightly advanced flanking and outer bays and projecting penultimate bays with stepped parapets and string courses. 8-bay courtyard (lighthouse) elevation with centre corniced doorpiece and flanking windows to outer bays, door and adjacent window to right at centre bays.

Largely 12-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows. Paired circular ashlar stacks and single square stack all with cans. Cobbled setts to courtyard.

GRAVEYARD: semicircular-coped large squared and coursed rubble blocks forming circular burial enclosure with carved stones commemorating 'Catharine Black' and 'Alexander McIntosh' both died aged 2 years; and round-headed stone below mural monument of stepped base with pyramidal cap projecting above wallhead, both weathered but commemorating a daughter and son of the 'Reid' family.

ANCILLARY STRUCTURES: ancillary structures built as enclosures, later roofed as garden stores. Single chamber vaulted ice house/cold store? of roughly squared rubble; flat-roofed ancillary of squared rubble constructed in Aberdeen bond to elevation with centre stack and small windows with 4 doors to opposite elevation and outer screen wall. Stable range, rectangular-plan, adjoining, with lead removed from roof.

GARDEN AND BOUNDARY WALLS: semicircular-coped rubble garden and boundary walls

Statement of Special Interest

Discontinued service 1980. David Stevenson noted that the islanders, all Roman Catholics, were visited once a year by a priest and spoke no English. Their houses "consist of holes dug in the earth" ... "with a fire of peats burning on the floor". The religious connection is indicated by the stone

cross on the main elevation of the houses (Barra Head is the only Scottish lighthouse to feature a cross). Barra Head light house is sited at the south end of Bernera Island. Upgraded to category A 10th Amendment September 2001.

References

Bibliography

Northern Lighthouse Board. B Bathurst THE LIGHTHOUSE STEVENSONS (1999), p128.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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