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Historic Lighthouse's story to be re-told

18 January 2011

New investment for Kinnaird Head

One of Scotland’s first lighthouses, Kinnaird Head’s fascinating story is to be re-told.

The lighthouse, which is owned by Historic Scotland, but run by the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, will see its existing interpretation overhauled and new visitor information panels situated throughout the site which will explain its rich history, from a castle into a lighthouse, the only conversion of its kind in Scotland.

The new panels, which will replace the existing public information, will look at areas such as the workings of the old lighthouse including the engine room and foghorn, life as a lighthouse keeper, and the modern lighthouse, which remains exactly as it was when it was decommissioned in 1991.

The panels will also explain some of the folklore associated with the site, including the famous tale of the piper who drowned in The Wine Tower after being imprisoned by a lord who was angry at him for falling in love with his daughter. Legend has it that the piper can still be heard playing his pipes while he searches for his lost love.  

The panels will be placed at key areas around the site and footpath to share its story with visitors, supporting the existing lighthouse tour, which offers daily guided commentary of the site.   

“This is such a diverse site, with many stories to tell” said the Museum’s Director Virginia Mayes-Wright, “We are really looking forward to be able to offer more interpretation to our visitors and the new panels will be a great addition to the site.”

Kit Reid, Interpretation Manager for Historic Scotland said;

“We hope that the new interpretation will help bring to life the fascinating history of the site. The north-east of Scotland has a strong maritime tradition and Kinnaird Head is an important part of the region’s heritage.

“It is a truly unique building in Scotland, and a hugely important one and we hope that the new panels will be enjoyed by visitors and educational groups alike.”

The new panels will be on site from this Spring. For further information about the new interpretation panels please contact the Museum on 01346 511022.


Notes to Editors

  • The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses tells the unique story of the lighthouses set up around the coastline of Scotland, their engineering feats and the stories of the people who manned them.

  • The Museum is open seven days a week.

April-June, Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12am-5pm.
July-August, Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 11am-6pm.
September & October, Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12am-5pm.
November-March, Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday, 12am-4pm.



  • Further information about the improvements at Kinnaird Head should be addressed to The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in the first instance.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles , Fort George , Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys and Skara Brae.


  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is : to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.




For further information


Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk