This is an unmatched compilation of glorious photographs of Scotland's marvelous lighthouse heritage. Join photographer Ian on a journey by foot, car, boat and helicopter around the stunning coastline of Scotland and the Isle of Man to capture this wonderful collection of images. Learn about the exploits of the Stevensons who battled against the elements for over 150 years and the keepers who manned these inspirational sentinels of the sea.
The story begins in the 17th century with some of the earliest attempts at constructing lighthouses. These early lights, now historic monuments of the past, are shown in comparison to the magnificent Stevenson towers which followed. The formation of the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1786 heralded a unified approach to lighting the Scottish coast. A few years later the young Robert Stevenson entered the narrative, establishing a dynasty of lighthouse engineers which spanned several generations.
Ian’s journey starts at the small lighthouse perched on the soaring cliffs of St Abbs Head on the east coast and ends at Chicken Rock, a spectacular sea-washed granite pillar off the southern tip of the Isle of Man. Along the way, Ian visits some of the remotest islands in the British Isles and marvels at the many engineering wonders the Stevensons created, including the wave-swept towers at Bell Rock, Skerryvore and Dubh Artach. As well as the wonderful collection of lighthouse images themselves, world-class scenery and wildlife are also captured in many of the pictures. In addition to brief historical accounts of many of the Stevenson lights, Ian relates his own personal experiences of visiting these wild and captivating places.
The story is brought right up to the present day with images of the work and people of the Northern Lighthouse Board in the 21st century.
Ian Cowe is a lecturer at the Robert Gordon University, Scotland and has had an enduring interest in lighthouses from an early age. Many of his photos have been included in the Northern Lighthouse Board's calendar and his images were featured in Shining Lights, the National Museum of Scotland's exhibition. He held a solo exhibition in 2013 entitled Scottish Lighthouses.