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The Northern Lighthouse Board


The Isle of May lives at the mouth of the Firth of the Forth, 5 miles from the Fife mainland and 11 miles from East Lothian. The Isle of May light beacon is a scheduled ancient monument located on the Isle. Dating from circa 1636, it is the earliest purpose-built lighthouse in Scotland and thought to be one of the oldest extant structures in the world. Zenith Property Conservation were awarded the contract to carry out extensive repairs to the building facade.

The overall works included masonry repairs, re-harling, the application of limewash, replacement of defective joinery and the careful conservation of the armorial panel above the entrance door.

Remote island location – all plant, equipment and materials were transported to the island by helicopter.
Extreme coastal weather conditions – the entire scaffolding was wrapped with Monarflex to protect the surfaces from wet weather.

Scope of Works


  • Genlock scaffolding access to the full perimeter of the lighthouse beacon.
  • Removal of all defective render materials from structure to attain sound, clean and dry surface, free of any material that may impair adhesion.
  • Repair of defects in the structure.
  • Weber Rend Aid applied to poorly keyed surfaces.
  • Application of masking tape around theareas where the repair material is to be applied.
  • Stripping of remaining cement based harling and paint finishes including paint layers over the main entrance door.
  • Repoint defective mortar on the structure.
  • Application of lime render system as per Scottish Lime Centre Trust Specification.
  • Stonework and carpentry repairs.
  • Application of scrub coat / fill out – Mortar Type C – St. Astiers NHL 5.
  • Application of straightening coat – Mortar Type B – St. Astiers NHL 5.
  • Application of finishing coat – Mortar Type D – Lime wash paint 3no. coatings.
  • Removal of all temporary scaffold access.


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