The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses have an amazing collection of old objects and artifacts.
The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
About the Museum
Our museum is a place for you to have fun, to learn something new and to get involved. We do have lots of old stuff – we’re a museum! But it’s how we bring this to life through our displays, stories and desire to share that guarantees a fantastic day out.
Remember, we offer 3 attractions, the Museum, the Castle and the Lighthouse all included in your ticket price!
You could start by getting into character and trying on our keeper’s uniform, or at the very least by getting Dad to do it. We have a wide range of creative activities for children here; from the tried and trusted pencils and worksheets to climbing up the fascinating spiral staircase inside the lighthouse itself.
Whether they just look like giant owls or you know the difference between Fresnel and hyper-radial ones, our lighthouse lenses are impressive feats of engineering, whatever your point of view. We have the largest lens collection in the UK along with a host of information about the engineers and keepers behind them. Learn about the famous Stevenson Family who constructed 93 lighthouses in 150 years; not to mention the skill and bravery they demonstrated in erecting Bell Rock.
Kinnaird Head Lighthouse
This is not just any lighthouse you’ll be looking at, but Scotland’s first. In 1787, Kinnaird Head Lighthouse started off life as a giant lamp positioned on the roof of the castle. When structural problems began to appear, Robert Stevenson engineered a foundation, walls and a spiral staircase through the heart of the castle, completing construction in 1824. He even preserved the original castle structure – this has to be seen to be believed!
Through its terrific hyper-radial lens, grateful seamen recognised Kinnaird Head Lighthouse by its white flash every 15 seconds, reaching a nominal range of 25 nautical miles. The lighthouse is still in perfect working order and is known to light the coast on very special occasions.
People have been fascinated by the lives and stories of lighthouse keepers for years. Their job involved responsibility and keen concentration (no reading or music allowed!). Come and learn how they lived, by seeing the lighthouse first hand and enjoy our beautifully preserved keeper’s quarters inside – for some of us a welcome trip down memory lane (appliances from the 70s) and for others: a TV with no remote control? Really?
Kinnaird Head Castle and the adjacent Wine Tower are two of the best preserved structures of the ancient “nine castles of the knuckle” situated along the Buchan coast. The 16th century castle was built by the Frasers of Philorth to demonstrate dominance and power over their planned town of Fraserburgh. Falling out of fashion, the castle was sold to the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1787 to be converted into Scotland’s first mainland lighthouse, making Kinnaird Head unique among Scotland’s castles. As well as the tower itself, original features such as the old castle kitchens and elements of the grand hall can be seen by visitors.
Discover the castle’s unique 450 year story of continual reinvention and survival from castle, to lighthouse, to museum.
The adjacent Wine Tower is an ancient pre-reformation building steeped in mystery and curiosity, dramatically perched over the crashing waves. Visit the upper vaulted chamber of the Wine Tower to view seven preserved roof pendants, carved in stone, showing the Fraser’s family connections and commitment to the faith.