Rattray Head Lighthouse
Stanley Bruce (Bard O' Buchan)
Rattray Head on the east coast of Buchan, Aberdeenshire in my opinion is one of Buchan's special places, remote, unspoilt and unique. Rattray became a royal burgh in 1563-1564 and at one time had its own castle on ‘Castlehill’ built by the Comyns. It is thought that this castle which once stood on a rock near the sea was burned to the ground by Edward Bruce younger brother of Robert the Bruce during the ‘Harrying of Buchan’, in 1308 or another less credible version is that it was overcome with the shifting sands. Rattray once had a good natural harbour but by 1654 it was becoming badly silted. The ‘ Loch of Strathbeg’ which is fed by the burn o’ Rattra was formed due to a massive shifting of the sands during a great storm in 1720. The harbour was known as ‘Starny Keppie’ and during the storm a ship became trapped in the harbour never to sail the seas again. The dunes at Rattray are now up to seventy-five feet high. Rattray Head lighthouse (120 feet high) was built in 1895 by Alan Stevenson. The keepers were withdrawn in February 1982 when it became fully automatic. Rattray Head is the site of many a shipwreck, the remains of several boats can be still seen on the beach to this day. If you’re interested in lighthouses then a visit to the ‘ Museum of Scottish Lighthouses ’ in Fraserburgh
is well worth a visit. The remoteness of this place is special, this stretch of beach is approximately 17 miles long and stretches from St Combs all the way south to Peterhead
, text from 'The Bard O' Buchan Vol 1' by Stanley Bruce published 2005.
Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: ISBN 0-9547960-2-0 author Stanley Bruce, published by Bard Books 2005