Corsewall Lighthouse was established in 1817 by Robert Stevenson and is situated on the northern tip of the Rhinns of Galloway.
One definition of the name Corsewall is the place of the Cross. Another is the Well of the Cross, probably from the original name Corsewall. There are many cross names, Kross in Iceland, Corse and Cross is Orkney and similar names in Shetland.
As far back as 1814 a Mr Kirkman Finley made an application to the Trade of Clyde for a light on Corsill Point. The Northern Lighthouse Board Engineer investigated the possibility, and in 1815 decided that a light at the entrance of Lochryan in Galloway and also one on Point of Ayre is the Isle of Man, would be the most beneficial improvement that could be made on the West coast. On Mr Stevenson’s Inspection Voyage in December of that year he found that the building operations were going on with all expedition and the first stage of the tower (30ft in height) and a part of the dwelling house were being built.
Shortly after the light was first exhibited in 1817 the engineer reported that the Principal Keeper at Corsewall, having fallen asleep while on duty, whereby the revolving apparatus of the light had stopped for a certain period, had been suspended by him from the keeping of the said light and had been sent to the Bell Rock to act as Assistant.
In November 1970, Concorde flew over the lighthouse on a trial flight and quite a number of panes of glass were broken. Since then the Concorde has passed overhead frequently but no further damage had been observed.
Corsewall Lighthouse was automated in 1994 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s offices in Edinburgh.
The A listed building is set in 20 acres of stunning coastal scenery including a ruined Iron Age fort, Dunskirloch. On a clear night the beams of several Scottish and Irish lighthouses can be seen guiding the ships across the North Channel.
Corsewall Lighthouse has been home to many Lighthouse Keepers and their families over the years and remains an important part of the network of Scottish Lighthouses. You can learn more about them from the Northern Lighthouse Board.
Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel has recently been bought by new owners, John and Helen who live on site. As custodians of this extraordinary site, they enjoy welcoming regular guests and helping new guests explore the magic of Corsewall for the first time.