Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Bell Rock Lighthouse, Scotland

A lovely lighthouse postcard I received earlier this year through a Facebook swap. Iain kindly offered to send me a postcard with a new squirrel stamp. I can't get these Post & Go stamps anywhere near where I live, and the machines in the post office in Birmingham never have any of these nice pictorial stamps, they only ever seem to have the boring Queen's head ones. :( Thank you, Iain! It's just annoying that the postcard took a bit of a battering on its way down to England from Scotland.

The Bell Rock Lighthouse, off the coast of Angus, Scotland, is the world's oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse. It was built between 1807 and 1810 by Robert Stevenson on the Bell Rock (also known as Inchcape) in the North Sea, 18 km east of the Firth of Tay. Standing 35 metres tall, its light is visible from 56 km inland.

The masonry work on which the lighthouse rests was constructed to such a high standard that it has not been replaced or adapted in 200 years. The lamps and reflectors were replaced in 1843 and used in the lighthouse at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, where they are currently on display. The working of the lighthouse has been automated since 1988.

 The lighthouse operated in tandem with a shore station, the Bell Rock Signal Tower, built in 1813 at the mouth of Arbroath harbour. Today this building houses the Signal Tower Museum, a visitor centre detailing the history of the lighthouse.

The challenges faced in the building of the lighthouse have led to it being described as one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.

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