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Muckle Flugga Lighthouse in the gloaming, Unst, Shetland

One of the trickiest lighthouse shots I've taken involving a 2am start and a hike to Hermaness at the top of Unst!


Muckle Flugga lighthouse sits on a rock at the very northern tip of the British isles. The lighthouse was built as a result of pressure from the government during the Crimean War. The Northern Lighthouse Board's engineer David Stevenson did not feel that it would be possible to build a light in such an exposed location, however the government insisted and a temporary light was built in 1854. All the materials had to be carried up the steep sides of the rock.


Although this temporary light was 200ft above sea level the sea caused damage to the living quarters (the sea smashed open the door to the living quarters, soaking and terrifying those inside) and David Stevenson designed a more substantial permanent lighthouse along with his brother Thomas - it is made of brick (an inovation for lighthouse engineering to reduce manual handling of materials up the rock) completed in 1858.


Whilst manned Muckle Flugga was the most northerly inhabited place in the British Isles. The lighthouse was automated in 1995.

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Taken on June 2, 2012