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.