Northern Lighthouse Board Tender Gets Special Treatment By Servac in Scotland

photo of the McCaig Tower in Oban
Photo of Oban in Argyll Scotland

NLV Pharos is a lighthouse tender operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), the body responsible for the operation of lighthouses and marine navigation aids around the coasts of Scotland and the Isle of Man. Servac completed works on the Pharos and admired the tender’s history.

NLV Pharos and her sister ship, Galatea serves the same role for Trinity House on the coast of EnglandWales and the Channel Islands.

NLV Pharos is the tenth NLB vessel to carry the name, replacing the ninth Pharos in March 2007. The first Pharos, which operated as a lighthouse vessel from 1799 to 1810, was a simple wooden sloop 49 feet long (approx 15 metres) and 18 feet wide (approx 5½ metres).

Pharos was the great lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

John Stuart McCaig was his own architect. The tower was erected between 1897 and his death, in Oban, Argyll.

McCaig’s intention was to provide a lasting monument to his family, and provide work for the local stonemasons during the winter months. McCaig was an admirer of Roman and Greek architecture, and had planned for an elaborate structure, based on the Colosseum in Rome. His plans allowed for a museum and art gallery with a central tower to be incorporated. Inside the central tower he planned to commission statues of himself, his siblings and their parents. His death brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed.

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