Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages



Ailsa Craig Island

Half of This Lighthouse Station Is Derelict

Sale Status? Possible!

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Cottages

Sadly Derelict

It breaks our heart to see this happen. Sadly the former keepers’ cottages on Ailsa Craig Island are now derelict. Utterly so.

Just take a closer look…

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Cottages

Empty, Windowless & Doorless

Half of this lighthouse station still belongs to the Northern Lighthouse Board and they have kept their buildings in good condition.

=> Part of the problem is the dangerous pier. We have tried to help the owner by getting details of the excellent solution from Spitbank Fort. The crew at Spitbank have been brilliant and were very helpful when we spoke to them.

=> But the owner of the Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Buildings is not easy to contact and has not responded to any efforts to help.

Our mailbag has letters + texts + emails of concern. But we are not in a position other than to offer free help.

Actually we did find a buyer and again offered to help the owner of these ruins. But the price that came back from him was eye-wateringly high considering very little has been spent on these buildings in the last 20 years. From experience at our own lighthouse station renovations, we have assessed on top of the £250,000 that was being sought for these ruins (we sold habitable houses for £99,000 in 2001)…

=> The renovation costs to exceed £350,000 for the 4 cottages and about £110,000 to rebuild the pier.

=> Sale cost: £250,000.

=>Total Cost: £710,000.

Please do your FULL due-diligence when buying a lighthouse station. Shockingly, we have observed many people IGNORE the pier problem. This will become the NEW owner of the four lighthouse cottages problem.

Yet how clear do buyers need WARNINGS to be?

The pier at Ailsa Craig is demonstrably and literally unsafe and these words are being written by a Harbourmaster, so they would hopefully carry some weight…

Ailsa Craig Pier. Do You Notice A Sign?

The Danger Signs Are Ignored

The underwater part of this structure is unsound.

We know from painful experience that there are “accidents” at these types of structure do happen and very serious injuries do result…

Excerpt From NLB Publication

We prefer to quote facts, especially with the likelihood some of the best and brightest legal minds will be available at the NLB’s senior management to come down on us like a ton of bricks, or even collapse like shoogly pier. In this case the Northern Lighthouse Board were exonerated, but they were still on the front page of the Court of Session Writ!

The second defendants had to pay the injured person £21,500 (in 2013)… 

Official Source: Click Here

The most important point? Injuries do happen, and legal culpability, even to some of the most professional organisations in the world can accrue.

We must say (and this is our experience) that the Northern Lighthouse Board has very high standards and over 37 years the lighthouse keepers and engineers plus project managers have helped us with our renovation work on lighthouse buildings to above and beyond what might be hoped for.

But even such august bodies as the NLB can have close shaves (we quote one, fully aware that a significant number of NLB Commissioners are highly respected solicitors and judges). Firstly to clarify and correct what some newspapers reported incorrectly.

=> We report that the NLB were exonerated and provide the proof below.

But mainly we need to make it absolutely clear that the sea and lighthouse in, on and by the sea are inherently dangerous places. So PLEASE can YOU take care when going around these iconic buildings.

=> PLEASE observe the warning signs. They are placed on dangerous piers for your safety.

The houses on Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Station used to look a lot better when the keepers were in residence. The old keepers maintained and painted all of the buildings, literally keeping them in tip-top condition. We stayed in these houses 20 years ago with some reasonable creature comforts still in place and can attest to the fact that the NLB lighthouse dwellings used to be far better maintained before the NLB sold them off.

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages.

Photo Copyright 2000 Argyll Group plc

We were lucky enough to own the Ailsa Craig Lighthouse buildings + pier + compound (but not the tower) around 1999/2000. Unfortunately, the founder of this website was injured during service in uniform and had to have spinal surgery which left him disabled. So we sold the Ailsa Craig lighthouse buildings in 2001. Since then, nothing appears to have been done to protect or maintain them. Left to deteriorate in an exposed seastorm area, the weather and vandalism have taken their toll.

Ailsa Craig Island

Private Lighthouse Section – Now Derelict

Almost 20 years later, a family member is now old enough to take on the task and is up for the challenge of buying the Ailsa Craig lighthouse buildings and restoring them.

=> But our senior crew are now nearing retirement age. So it would be far better if someone younger, with the skillset and ability was to take on these forlorn derelict ruins. How about you?

We Hope That The Vandalism

Does Not Spread To The Tower Light.

Current Vandalism on Ailsa Craig Exists.

Fact. It is Also Contagious

This next video is supplied by our friend who helped with our TS Queen Mary rescue effort (click here). This time Jim has his drone camera at Ailsa Craig island Lighthouse buildings. 22 years after we sold the habitable buildings, this breaks our heart…


Ailsa Craig Island: Video

For any future owner with the very deep pockets required to bring Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Keepers’ Houses back to life, there is an alternate form of access facility…

Ailsa Craig Island Helicopter Pad.

Privately Owned.

Ailsa Craig Island Helicopter Pad.

There is still a small window of time, but as of 2023, the most recent inspection shows the situation to be dire…

Ailsa Craig – Derelict Former NLB Properties

Photo of Ailsa Craig.

Please Note, The Island Is NOT For Sale

Photo of Ailsa Craig

Lighthouse Tower & Engine Room

Please Note, These are NOT For Sale

The parts that have recently been touted for sale when the whole island was recently recently are still owned by the gentleman we sold them to (in far better condition) 21 years ago.

We hardly recognise the place now…

A Very Sad & Derelict Lighthouse Building

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Building For Auction (Right Hand Side): Open + Insecure

Spot The Difference? Left Side Sad & Derelict. Right Side Pristine.

The Northern Lighthouse Board own approximately half of this compound and their part is extremely well maintained. We know, the contractor team that work on our lighthouse buildings; they are the very same team who recently overhauled and repainted the NLB Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Tower and Engine House. These guys eye-witnessed the appalling state of the island’s former keepers’ houses.

The Front Part Is Still Owned By The Northern Lighthouse Board


Former Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages, Ailsa Craig Island, South Ayrshire, KA26 9DF.

Ailsa Craig Island: Location (c) Google Maps


Access To Ailsa Craig Island


Ailsa Craig Island – In Better Times.