Rich stories behind historic lighthouse is to be re-told

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THE rich history which surrounds one of Scotland’s oldest lighthouses is to be re-told after a revamp takes place within a Buchan museum.

The fascinating story of Kinnaird Head lighthouse will be given a new lease of life at The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, with new visitor panels to be put in place at the Fraserburgh site.

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 Kinnaird Head 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.

They 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 in order to share its story with visitors, and will support the existing lighthouse tour, which offers daily guided commentary of the site.

The museum’s director, Virginia Mayes-Wright, said that the new site would have a lot to offer visitors.

“This is such a diverse site, with many stories to tell. 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,” she said.

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 Spring onwards. For further information about the new interpretation panels contact The Scottish Lighthouse Museum on 01346 511022.