Award winning author releases book with exclusive history of lighthouses

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AN AWARD-WINNING Scottish author has released a new nonfiction book describing the history of Scotland’s lighthouses.

Donald S Murray has released his new book ‘For the Safety of All’ and published it in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB).

The book which claims to bring to life previously untold stories of former keepers and historic plans will also publish drawings from NLB for the very first time.

lighthouse -scottish news
Photo by Historic Environment Scotland. Around 150 lighthouses in Scotland are designated as listed buildings.

Donald S Murray now living in Shetland, grew up near the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse and described lighthouses as a ‘sacred place’ to him.

One of the stories in the book is from a retired fisherman detailing how his aunt was injured in World War Two when a bomb was dropped near the Out Skerries Lighthouse on Shetland.

The book also has history about the construction of the first lighthouse in Scotland which was built on the Isle of May in 1636.

lighthouse - scottish news
Photo by Historic Environment Scotland. Readers can also find out about some of the country’s most renowned lighthouses and the contribution made by the Stevenson family.

Mr Murray said: “This book is a reminder of those members of the Stevenson family who did so much to ensure the construction of these towers on islands, peninsulas and the coastline’s edge in both Scotland and the Isle of Man.

“But mainly, this book is a love-letter to lighthouses, a paean of praise to their fidelity and continual presence in my life.”

His book was published as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020-21 and showcases many images discovered in the HES archives, having never been published before.

lighthouse - scottish news
Photo by Historic Environment Scotland. The book talks about the important role played by those stationed at Scotland’s lighthouses during the Second World War.

Around 150 lighthouses in Scotland are designated as listed buildings, with many listed at category A for their special architectural or historic interest.

Some stories include how nearly £300,000 worth of goods washed ashore on the west coast of Scotland in 1866, and incident during a storm at Skerryvore Lighthouse in Shetland in 1978.