The Gaelic name is Crombagh, the bent bay, but some stymologists maintain it means the little place at bend.
Board of Trade sanction was granted in 1842 to build Cromarty Lighthouse, on the North East tip of the Black Isle to guide ships in from the Moray Firth to the Cromarty Firth. Thomas Watson was appointed as Superintendent and David Mitchell from Montrose was the contractor responsible for the buildings. The estimated cost was £3,030.
The engineers report of 1844 stated - "a catadioptic apparatus of the 4th order is to be used; while owing to the necessity of adopting a red light as a distinction it seems probable as noticed in last years report, that in order to obtain sufficient power in the direction of the entrance to the Firth, as well as an illumination of the interior of the anchorage, a combination of a single reflector with the shaded catadioptric apparatus may be found necessary".
The station was automated in 1985 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s offices in Edinburgh.
It should be noted that at some sites the Northern Lighthouse Board have sold some redundant buildings within the lighthouse complex and are not responsible for the maintenance of these building.
In January 2005, the three General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) of the UK and Ireland issued a consultation document following a joint review of Aids to Navigation of the coasts of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Review addressed the current and future requirements of national and international shipping and those of Mariners. Each Aid to Navigation - light, buoy or beacon - was studied in isolation, as well as in relation to the other Aids to Navigation in its vicinity. As a result of this review it was agreed to discontinue the light at Cromarty, as the function of this light was now performed by buoyage. Cromarty Lighthouse was therefore permanently discontinued with effect from 28 February 2006.