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Norse name Austrsker
Meaning of name east skerry
Auskerry is located in Orkney Islands
Auskerry shown within Orkney
OS grid reference HY675165
Coordinates 59°01′56″N 2°34′11″W / 59.032267°N 2.569761°W / 59.032267; -2.569761
Physical geography
Island group Orkney
Area 85 hectares (0.33 sq mi)
Area rank 157= [1]
Highest elevation 18 metres (59 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Orkney Islands
Population 4[2]
Population rank 77= [1]
Population density 4.7 people/km2[2][3]
References [3][4][5][6]
Auskerry Lighthouse
Auskerry Lighthouse.jpg
Auskerry lighthouse
Location Auskerry
Northern Isles
United Kingdom
Coordinates 59°01′34″N 2°34′20″W / 59.026036°N 2.572250°W / 59.026036; -2.572250
Year first constructed 1866
Year first lit 1866
Automated 1961
Construction stone tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white tower, black lantern, ochre trim
Tower height 34 metres (112 ft)
Focal height 34 metres (112 ft)
Light source solar power
Range 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi)
Characteristic Flashing White every 20 Seconds
Fog signal None
Admiralty number A3680
NGA number 3232
ARLHS number SCO-011
Managing agent Northern Lighthouse Board[7][8]
Heritage None

Auskerry (Old Norse: Austrsker, east skerry) is a small island in eastern Orkney, Scotland. It lies in the North Sea south of Stronsay and has a lighthouse, completed in 1866.


Auskerry is a small, flat, red sandstone islet, 3 miles (5 km) south of Stronsay.[9][10] A standing stone and mediaeval chapel are signs of early settlement.[9] The island was uninhabited for a time after the automation of the lighthouse in the 1960s. It was previously a popular location for hunting seals.[9]

Auskerry has been inhabited for 30 years by a family who keep a flock of rare North Ronaldsay sheep.[11] There are three small wind turbines and four solar panels on the island, which provide most of the power. After a series of expansions and renovations, the single roomed stone bothy is now a modern house with four bedrooms, kitchen, shower room and living room. The chemical toilet is outdoors due to the complication of installing septic tanks. Mail is delivered from Stronsay, once a month, by a fishing boat.[12]


The Hastings County, a 116-metre Norwegian cargo ship, ran ashore on north west of Auskerry in 1926 during thick fog.[13] The vessel broke in half and wreckage is spread over a wide area, with the engine on the beach.

The lighthouse lights the north entrance to the Stronsay Firth.[14] It was built in 1866 by engineers David and Thomas Stevenson.[15] It is attached to two flats; the lower one is used all year as a store and the top one is used mainly in summer.


Auskerry is designated a Special Protection Area due to its importance as a nesting area for Arctic tern and storm petrel; 4.2% of the breeding population of storm petrel in Great Britain nest on the island.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ a b National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 5 Orkney (Northern Isles) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2008. ISBN 9780319228111.
  5. ^ Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9
  6. ^ Pedersen, Roy (January 1992) Orkneyjar ok Katanes (map, Inverness, Nevis Print)
  7. ^ Auskerry The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 24 May 2016
  8. ^ Auskerry Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 24 May 2016
  9. ^ a b c "Auskerry". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  10. ^ Express, Britain. "Orkney geography and climate". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Isle of Auskerry". Retrieved 2009-08-09. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Why postage should be cheaper in UK if Scots vote 'Yes'". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Hastings County". North Isles Diving. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  14. ^ "SS Hastings County Ashore On Auskerry". Scran. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  15. ^ "Auskerry History". Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  16. ^ "Special Protection Area description: Auskerry". JNCC. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-24.

External links

  • Northern Lighthouse Board

Coordinates: 59°02′03″N 2°34′05″W / 59.03429°N 2.56798°W / 59.03429; -2.56798

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