One of the world’s greatest feats of engineering, the Bellrock Lighthouse has a special place in the history of Arbroath.

Since it first shone out on February 1, 1811, the beacon of light from the Bell Rock Lighthouse has been seen on Arbroath’s horizon every night, flashing its warning message to passing vessels. Before it was automated, the lighthouse keepers lived with their families in what is now the town’s Signal Tower Museum. The stones for the lighthouse were shipped 11 miles out to the Inchcape or Bell Rock from Arbroath Harbour, along with many of the skilled local craftsmen who were involved in its construction. And the Abbot of Aberbrothock was the first to warn sailors of the deadly reef below the waves when, in medieval days, he placed a bell on the Inchcape Rock – only for it to be cut off by a dastardly pirate, Ralph The Rover.

To celebrate the bicentenary of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 2011 will be The Year of the Light. The Arbroath and Area Partnership – with the assistance of a special steering group set up for the Year of the Light and involving many local community organisations – has planned a series of special events, including fireworks displays, parades, a yacht regatta and boat trips to see the Bellrock Lighthouse.

For more information, visit

Credit: Photo © Ian Lamb

Year of the light 2011
Leave a Comment