Lighthouse Beacons from Scotland

Bass Rock Lighthouse

The Bass Rock lighthouse is located on an island lying 3 miles off North Berwick on the East Coast of Scotland. It has a range of 21 miles and flashes white every 30 seconds.

The Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouse Board decided that a lighthouse should be erected on the Bass Rock in July 1897 along with another light at Barns Ness near Dunbar.

The Bass Rock Lighthouse is a 20 metres (66 ft) lighthouse, built in 1902 by David Stevenson, who used stone from a 13th century keep, or governor's house, and some other buildings within an early castle for the lighthouse stonework. The cost of constructing the Bass Rock light was £8,087 and a light first shone from the rock on the evening of 1 November 1902. It has been unmanned since 1988 and is remotely monitored from the Board’s headquarters in Edinburgh. Until the automation, the lighthouse was lit by incandescent gas obtained from vaporised paraffin oil converted into a bunsen gas for heating a mantle. It now uses a modern type of lamp.

Photo on the right is by Stanley Howe via Wikimedia.

The Bass Rock rises steeply to 350 feet (107 metres) high and one mile in circumference in the Firth of Forth Islands Special Protection Area which covers some, but not all of the islands in the inner and outer Firth. The Bass Rock is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in its own right, due to its huge gannet breeding colony of 30-40,000 pairs. It is sometimes called "the Ailsa Craig of the East". It is of a similar geological form to nearby North Berwick Law, a hill on the mainland. There are a couple of related volcanic formations within nearby Edinburgh, namely Arthur's Seat and Castle Rock. There are remains of a 16th century chapel consecrated in 1542 on the site of the cell of St Baldred, a 7th or 8th century hermit and still-imposing ruins of a fortress which was used for a time as a prison.

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