Island of Bass Rock & Lighthouse 1903 (off North Berwick, East Lothian) Scotland

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The Bass Rock is situated in the Firth of Forth, two miles east of North Berwick and one mile off the mainland, East Scotland.  We were visiting Tantallon Castle in 2014, and you can’t miss the rock, it just looms out of the water, and it looked quite eerie on the day we passed by.

The Bass Rock was formed 320 million years ago and is the remains of one of many active volcanoes in the area and the first inhabitant on the Bass Rock was Baldred, an evangelist and hermit sent by St Mungo to spread Christianity to the Lothians in the sixth century. He founded a monastery at Tyninghame and later lived as a hermit in a cell on the Bass Rock, the monastery lasted 300 years until sacked by the Danes in 941.  There is a lot of history on this large rock, there are the ruins of castle dating back to 1450, where James 1st stayed for a while. Mary Queen of Scots had a garrison of 100 men including a number of French troops stationed on the rock in the early 16th century.

The Lighthouse is Bass Rock Lighthouse ‘The Bass Rock Lighthouse on Bass Rock is a 20 metres lighthouse, built in 1902 by David Stevenson, who demolished the 13th century keep, or governor’s house, and some other buildings within the castle for stone’

Bass is now home to 150,000 gannets at the peak of the season. The gannets spend most of the year on the Bass, until the end of October when they set out on their long journey south, with many going as far as the west coast of Africa.

You can take a boat trip around the Bass and even land on it…….which is something I have put on my bucket list, with a whole load of other things






10 Replies to “Island of Bass Rock & Lighthouse 1903 (off North Berwick, East Lothian) Scotland”

  1. Nice pics, Lynne. Always such a dramatic sight with Tantallon Castle in the foreground. Can’t imagine what it must have been like to live there, with all those gannets!

    1. Thanks Jo, it was too dark really, but made for some moody shots. It must have been quite an unpleasant place to have to live, yes the birds, but the crashing of the waves must have been endless !

    2. When you go there by a small boat you can smell the birds and what they have left behind. It stinks, I can assure you, and as far as I’m concerned, I do not have the wish to live there. But the view from Tantallon Castle is superb.

  2. Thanks for this article. I’ve been one time to Tantallon Castle and one time to Bass Rock (a boat trip for the purpose of bird watching) but I haven’t noticed the lighthouse.

      1. Please, feel free to do so… one reason why I have’t noticed the lighthouse could be that the captain didn’t go around the rock – maybe he returned after half of the whole way. So he probably took a different direction.

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