Mist and fog is very common around the Island! which meant that the upper of the two lights on the Calf was often shrouded thus negating its function - the Northern commissioners decided to mark the rock with a first class light.
Built 1869-1874 to a design by David and Thomas Stevenson. Very similar to Dubh Artach which was constructed at the same time. The design is of a 125ft (38m) granite tower. The granite was shipped from Scotland and cut in a mason's yard in Port St Mary (about 4 miles from the Calf) where a tramway was built to convey the numbered blocks to the boat. It was built during 4 summer seasons using the winter to cut the stone.
A serious fire occured in 1960, (see Lockington Marshall for details of the fire and Nicholson for the rescue and subsequent repair).