Dennis Head Old Beacon restoration boost

Dennis Head Old Beacon in Orkney is to receive  £50,000  to help fund restoration work.

This money will enable  much-needed conservation work to continue on the project.

Three other projects are also set to benefit from the funds raised during the TV programme Restoration Village, the third in the series of BBC Restoration programmes.

Dennis Head lighthouse. Pic Susanne Carter

Dennis Head lighthouse. Pic Susanne Carter

Watts Gallery in Surrey, Howsham Mill in North Yorkshire and Cromarty East Church in the Scottish Highlands are all set to receive similar sums.

Grade A

Construction of the lighthouse began in 1788. It is constructed of stone and stands 70ft tall.

It was built by Thomas Smith with assistance from Robert Stevenson, the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson.

The keepers cottage can be seen in the foreground.


The overall winner of the viewer vote for series three, Chedham’s Yard in Warwickshire, was awarded £250,000 from the Restoration Fund and £750,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Chedham’s Yard required a smaller amount towards its restoration than the total raised by viewers, leaving a surplus to be awarded to the runners-up.

Any money left in the viewer vote fund would be available to the other finalists to apply for.

Andrea Miller, Chair of the Restoration Fund, said: “We are delighted that a further four projects will benefit from the funds raised by viewers of BBC’s Restoration.

Dennis Head Beacon and Lighthouse Keepers Cottage remains. Pic Susanne Carter

Dennis Head Beacon and Lighthouse Keepers Cottage remains. Pic Susanne Carter

“The chosen organisations will use the money to fund a discrete, stand-alone project so viewers can see a tangible result from their generosity.”

Restoration presenter Griff Rhys Jones added: “We have to thank the viewers again for their support for all the projects throughout the series of Restoration. They gave money too.

“It is great to see so much enthusiasm from so many right across the country. The money has gone where it was needed and where it will do great good.”

The awards are as follows:

  • Watts Gallery: £55,000 to fund its ongoing restoration plans
  • Howsham Mill: £50,000 for emergency re-building work, allowing the mill to continue with the next stage of its restoration
  • Cromarty East Church: £54,000 to conserve, display and interpret the unusual decorative features in the church.
  • Dennis Head Old Beacon: £50,000 towards the restoration of the Beacon Tower and the attached former Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage


The Restoration Fund was set up as an independent registered charity to distribute the money raised by the viewer vote-line accompanying the BBC Two programmes Restoration and Restoration Village.

The three series of the programmes raised £1.6million.

Previous winners of Restoration Fund funding were the Grade II* Listed Old Grammar School and the nearby Saracens Head in Birmingham (Restoration series two, 2004) and the Grade II* Listed Victoria Baths in Manchester (Restoration series one, 2003).

Further information

Video NationMarion Muir has made this film about life on North Ronaldsay.

Northern Lighthouse Board – Historical information about lighthouse building including the Stevensons

Thanks to Susanne Carter for allowing us to use these images. Suzanne is the Development Officer for North Ronaldsay Trust.