Little Ross

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Little Ross Lighthouse
Range Rear
Gypsy point - - 343748.jpg
Gypsy point looking over to Little Ross Island, showing its two lighthouses
Little Ross is located in Scotland
Little Ross
LocationLittle Ross Island
Dumfries and Galloway
United Kingdom
Coordinates54°45′56″N 4°05′05″W / 54.765671°N 4.084695°W / 54.765671; -4.084695Coordinates: 54°45′56″N 4°05′05″W / 54.765671°N 4.084695°W / 54.765671; -4.084695
Year first constructed1843
Constructionmasonry tower
Tower shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern attached to 1-storey keeper’s house
Markings / patternwhite tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Tower height22 metres (72 ft)
Focal height50 metres (160 ft)
Light sourcesolar power
Range12 nautical mile Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl W 5s.
Admiralty numberA4634
NGA number4828
ARLHS numberSCO-125
Managing agentNorthern Lighthouse Board[1]
Heritagecategory B listed building Edit this on Wikidata

Little Ross is a 29-acre island with a lighthouse[2] off the southern coast of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.[3][4] It is next to Meikle Ross on the mainland, which is a headland, and there are two small rocks off it, Sugarloaf and Fox Craig. The island can only be accessed by private boat or helicopter. Its sole electricity is supplied by solar panels and a small wind turbine.[3]


The lighthouse was constructed in 1843 by Alan Stevenson. It was built at the mouth of Kirkcudbright Bay to close the gap between other lighthouses at the Mull of Galloway and Southerness.[4] It is approximately 66 feet tall.[5] In the 1900s, the island was home to the head lighthouse keeper, underkeeper and their families, which totaled 16 people, whose food was provided by a small dairy and piggery on the island.[3]

In August 1960 two relief lighthouse keepers were on duty during the holiday of the principal keeper. The secretary of the local RNLI arrived on the island with his son for lunch and a walk and discovered the body of one of the keepers, Hugh Clark. After a nationwide hunt the other relief keeper, Robert Dickson was arrested and found guilty of murder for which he was initially sentenced to hang,[6] a sentence subsequently changed to life imprisonment.[7]

The lighthouse was manned until the murder,[4] and has been automated since 1961.[8] The island can only be accessed by private boat or helicopter. It is not connected to any electrical grid, so its sole electricity is supplied by solar panels and a small wind turbine.[3][4] It is owned and managed by the Commissioners for Northern Lighthouses, who make regular maintenance visits to the property throughout the year.[7]

In July 2017 the island was put on sale for £325,000 GBP with Estate Agents Galbraith [9], which is comparable in price to a same price as a two-bedroom apartment in Edinburgh,[2][3] and less than a two-bedroom apartment in London.[7] The property listing included a six-bedroom, B-listed cottage, but does not include the lighthouse. The listing does include three B-listed, "ruinous" barns[2][3] and a courtyard.[10] David Corrie, senior associate at the property agency Galbraith, Castle Douglas, noted that "Private islands rarely come up for sale at an affordable price and particularly one with a habitable house and additional properties."[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Little Ross (Range Rear) The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 17 May 2016
  2. ^ a b c d Dorman, Mark (17 July 2017). "An entire Scottish island is on sale for just £325k - but it has a disturbing past". Yahoo! Finance.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Christie, Sophie (17, July 2017). "Idyllic Scottish island up for sale for just £325k – but it has a chilling past". The Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b c d "Little Ross lighthouse island up for sale". BBC News. 14 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Scottish Radiance".[citation needed]
  6. ^ "Kirkcudbright Community Website". Archived 2014-03-01 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c O'Callaghan, Lauren (17 July 2017). "Scottish island for sale for just £325,000 but hides a grisly secret past". Daily Express.
  8. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Kitching, Chris (17 July 2017). "Remote Scottish island up for sale for just £325k - but its grisly past may scare off potential buyers". The Mirror.

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