Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Planning Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
NL 54898 80253
54898, 780253


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.



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

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 21/07/2024 05:41