Bell Rock Lighthouse

Bell Rock Lighthouse, the lone sentinel off the coast of Angus, Scotland
Photo by: Derek Robertson, Creative Commons

The Bell Rock Lighthouse is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World. This lighthouse is located just off the coast of Angus, Scotland. It was built on Bell Rock or Inchcape. It is the world’s oldest lighthouse that has survived the tides of the sea. This amazing lighthouse was built between 1807 and 1810 by Robert Stevenson, a civil engineer. He initially hired 60 men in 1807 to start the construction of the lighthouse. There are many legends that came from this wonder of the industrial world and it has earned a wide popularity amongst travelers and common folks. Here are some wonderful things about the Bell Rock Lighthouse.


The location of this lighthouse was believed to have earned its name from an abbot from Arbroath. His 14th century idea was to put a warning bell on the rock. After sometime, the bell was stolen by a Dutch pirate. It seems that the bell lasted for only a year before getting stolen.

Bell Rock led numerous ships to fall prey to the treacherous sea. It was during these incidents that Stevenson proposed to have a lighthouse constructed on the rock. His proposal was not approved due to different concerns regarding the cost of the construction. Although, after the HMS York was lost including its passengers, the construction was then allowed to commence.


Robert Stevenson hired 60 men to help construct the lighthouse. They set sail to Bell Rock on August 17, 1807 and they were to be away from the mainland for two months. The first agenda on Stevenson’s mind was to create huts that will help them to settle in the island. Since the rock is covered by water most of the time, rowing to and from their ship was time consuming. They were able to create beacon houses that held 15 men in the island.

After that was done, stonemasons started cutting Aberdeen rocks to be used for the lighthouse. The men labored on to complete this amazing wonder and through the years they encountered a lot of hardships. There were constant storms, accidents and conflicts amongst the workers. Despite of these trials the completion of the Bell Rock Lighthouse was achieved. It became a tourist attraction because it stood 35 meters high. Its light was visible from 35 statute miles of 56 kilometers inland.


A lot of people are still in awe because of this amazing structure. The dedication to its construction enabled this lighthouse to endure 200 years without the need to replace its rests. It is one of the many constructions in the world that was born out of true labor of love. The hardship of going away for months and the difficulties of the worker’s living condition brought them together to create a masterpiece.

To this day, it stands high as a reminder of man’s ability to create something beautiful. The Bell Rock Lighthouse also provides ships and travelers a guiding light during stormy seasons and dark nights. Its magnificence and amazing construction earned it a worthy place in the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.

7 Wonders of the Industrial World

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