Sunday, August 12, 2007


Bass Rock Lighthouse
Light Established
David A Stevenson
Latitude 56° 04.6’N
Longitude 02° 38.3’W
An island lying 3 miles NE from North Berwick
Flashing (3) White every 20 Secs
46 metres
Nominal Range
10 miles
White tower 20 metres high. There are 48 steps to the top of tower
In July 1897 the Commissioners decided that two lighthouses should be erected
on the Haddingtonshire coast - on the Bass Rock and on a suitable place near
Dunbar - as the unlighted condition of the area was causing concern.
The Bass Rock is a massive crag rising out of the sea to a height of 350 feet and
it is about a mile in circumference. Through the Rock, from the East to West,
runs a natural tunnel, but this is not accessible except at low tide.
Halfway up the Rock stands the ruins of a Pre-Reformation Chapel which was
dedicated to Saint Baldfred, and was consecrated in the year 1542. Saint
Baldfred was said to have his cell on the Bass Rock, dying there about the year
606. The Bass has a long and varied history. It is mentioned in writings dating
back to the region of Malcolm Canmore and the first recorded owner was Sir
Robert Lauder, who was granted a character for it around 1316. This family
(Lauder of Bass) retained ownership of the rock for hundreds of years and must
have been connected with the erection of a Pre-Reformation Chapel which must
be dedicated to St Balfred in 1542, as well as being responsible for the building
of the fortress.
Earlier, in 1671, Charles I claimed the Bass as Royal Property and it was sold to
the crown for the sum of £4,000 sterling by the then owner, Sir Alexander
Ramsay of Abbotshall, Provost of Edinburgh. The bloody pages of the Bass
Rock's history now unfold when, under another Lauder (dale) known as the
Captain of the Bass, the fortress was turned into a prison for Presbyterian
ministers. Between 1672 and 1688 some 40 political/religious prisoners died in
the dungeons of the rock.
In 1706, the Bass was sold to Sir Hugh Dalrymple,
whose descendants still own it
The Light was automated in 1988 and is now remotely monitored from the
Board’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

No comments: