Lighthouses of Southeastern Scotland

This listing is for lighthouses in the southeastern corner of Scotland, from the Fife Council Area to the English border. This region includes the estuary of the Firth of Forth and its approaches, including the important ports of the Edinburgh area.

The Northern Lighthouse Board, established by an act of Parliament in 1786, manages the major lighthouses of Scotland and the Isle of Man. For five generations, engineers of the Stevenson family created for the Board a network of elegant and durable lighthouses famous around the world. Most of these lighthouses remain in service today.

Information on the great NLB lighthouses is easy to find on the Internet, but it's harder to find information on the harbor lighthouses of Scotland's many ports. Special thanks to Bill Newman, Michael Spencer, and Ian Wright for their efforts in identifying and photographing many of these smaller lighthouses.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from Volume A of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 114.

General Sources
Northern Lighthouse Board - Lighthouse Library
The Board's web site includes information and photos for many of the lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - Scotland
Photos of Scottish aids to navigation posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Scotland
Photos available from Wikimedia; many of these photos were first posted on Geograph.org.uk.
Lighthouses in Scotland, United Kingdom
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
My (New) Lighthouse Page
Photos by amateur radio operator Bill Newman (MØBNN).
Ankes Leuchttürme - Schottland
A fine collection of 1998 photos.
Fife Harbor Lights
Rare photos contributed to the Directory by Michael Spencer.
The Stevensons
The history of Scotland's remarkable family of lighthouse engineers.
Scotland: Lighthouses of the Eastern Coast
Historic postcard images posted by Michel Forand.
Britische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Barns Ness Light
Barns Ness Light, East Lothian, May 2010
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Richard West

Isle of May High Light
Isle of May High Light, Fife, June 2004
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Norrie Adamson

Fife Lighthouses

Tayport Lighthouses
Note: The Firth of Tay is the traditional border between Fife and Angus. The principal port on the Tay is Dundee, on the north shore in Angus. Tayport, formerly known as Ferry-Port-on-Craig, is a former fishing and ferry port downstream from Dundee on the south bank. The Tay Road Bridge has put the ferries out of business, and the town's historic harbor now serves mostly recreational craft.
* Tayport High (Tayport West)
1820. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); directional light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off: showing white over the clear channel, red or green to the sides. 23 m (76 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Richard Webb's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo, a good closeup is available, Forand has a 1915 postcard view, Huelse also has a historic postcard view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse is usually called the "Western Lighthouse" in Tayport. The 1-story keeper's house was sold in 2003 to David Nicholls, who began restoring the property. In 2007, unfortunately, Nicholls died suddenly. The property was then sold to David Norman and his wife, who are continuing the renovation. All three Tayport lighthouses were built by the harbor board of the city of Dundee, on the north side of the Tay, to guide vessels entering the estuary. Located at the edge of the Firth of Tay in Tayport, about 200 m (700 ft) west of the old low light. Both low and high lighthouses are on the town's Lighthouse Walk, off Albert Street. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-237; Admiralty A3142; NGA 2620.
* Tayport Low (Tayport East)
1823. Inactive since 1848. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted, lantern painted white. Newman has photos, Ian Macdonald has a good closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Forand has a 1910 postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse, usually called the "Eastern Lighthouse" in Tayport, was replaced by the pile lighthouse (next entry). Both low and high lighthouses are on the town's Lighthouse Walk, off Quarry Road. Located at the edge of the Firth of Tay in Tayport. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from nearby. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS SCO-290.
Tayport Pile (Larick Scalp, Larick Beacon)
1845. Inactive since about 1960. 16 m (52 ft) tower, with a lantern atop an octagonal wood keeper's quarters, mounted on wood pilings. Newman has good photos, Bob Shand has another good photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. This is one of only a few surviving pile lighthouses in the U.K. It was built when the 1823 low lighthouse (previous entry) was judged to be too close to the high light. Most lighthouse sources have 1845 as its construction date, but the British Listed Buildings index has it built in "1848 probably by James Leslie." Located about 500 meters (1/3 mile) northeast of the Tayport waterfront on the south side of the Firth of Tay. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS SCO-289.
Tayport High Light
Tayport High Light, Tayport, February 2012
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Richard Webb

St. Andrews Lighthouse
* St. Andrews (Range Rear)
1849. Inactive for many years. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical stone tower. This tower is connected by a wall to the east towers--the largest surviving remnants--of the 12th century St. Andrews Cathedral. The tower that was used as a lighthouse is at the left Forand's historic postcard view and in a photo of the cathedral ruins, a similar photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The front light of the range was on the town pier. Site open, tower closed.

East Neuk (Lower Firth of Forth) Lighthouses
Note: The East Neuk is a section of coast facing southeast on the north side of the entrance to the Firth of Forth. There is a series of small villages along this coast, Anstruther being the largest.
Fife Ness
1975. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 5 s on, 5 s off. 5 m (16 ft) lantern room attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Coast Guard station nearby. Robert Smallman's photo is at right, Anne Burgess has a 2008 photo, Trabas has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse replaced a lightship station off the cape. The well known golf links of the Crail Golfing Society surround the light station. Located at the easternmost point of Fife, marking the north side of the entrance to the Firth of Forth. Site open only with permission of the golf club, tower closed. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. ARLHS SCO-081; Admiralty A3102; NGA 2612.
* Isle of May Low
1844. Inactive since 1887. Approx. 12 m (40 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Tower painted white; lantern dome is black. Shahbaz Majeed has a good photo, Allison Stamp has a closeup, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The keeper's house accommodates a resident nature reserve warden. The lighthouse was replaced by the North Carr lightship in 1887. The rocky island, located about 8 km (5 mi) east of Anstruther in the northern entrance to the Firth of Forth, is a bird and seal sanctuary, the Isle of May National Nature Reserve. Located at the easternmost point of the island. Accessible only by boat; tours are available from Anstruther, and in 2005 a passenger ferry from North Berwick was established. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Scottish Natural Heritage. ARLHS SCO-109.
Fife Ness Light
Fife Ness Light, Craighead, July 2008
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Robert Smallman
* Isle of May (High) (2)
1816 (substantially altered in 1886) (Robert Stevenson). Station established 1635. Active; focal plane 73 m (240 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 24 m (79 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 2-story stone keeper's house. Building unpainted, lantern painted black. Norrie Adamson's photo is at the top of this page, Magdalen Green has a good photo, Forand has a postcard view, Huelse also has a historic postcard view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a good satellite view. The original lighthouse was a stone tower from which an open coal fire was displayed; ruins of this tower can be seen near the current lighthouse. Located at the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat; tours are available from Anstruther. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. Site manager: Scottish Natural Heritage. ARLHS SCO-286; Admiralty A3090; NGA 2600.
Anstruther West Pier (Chalmers Lighthouse)
1880. Inactive, but a pole in front of the lighthouse displays two continuous red lights, one above the other, at a focal plane of 5 m (16 ft). 9 m (30 ft) octagonal cylindrical cast iron tower with gallery and a small lantern. Tower painted white, lantern black. The fog horn (3 blasts every 60 s) sounds only when fishing boats are expected. David Greenhalgh has a closeup photo, Justin Qian also has a photo, Trabas has a photo, Forand has a postcard view from around 1915, Huelse also has a historic postcard view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The light was built as a memorial to the mathematician and theologian Thomas Chalmers, an Anstruther native, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Located at the end of the pier at Anstruther on the north side of the Firth of Forth. Site and tower closed. Operator: Forth Ports PLC (?). ARLHS SCO-003; Admiralty A3078; NGA 2588.
* Pittenweem East Pier (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1853). Inactive since 1995. 5 m (17 ft) round stone tower with lantern. Tower unpainted, lantern painted white. Michael Spencer has contributed a closeup photo, Gordon Saunders has a closeup photo, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This little lighthouse was deactivated when the pier was extended in 1995. Located on a knuckle of the east pier of the old harbor of Pittenweem. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SCO-288.
* Elie Ness
1908 (David A. Stevenson). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) cylindrical masonry tower with castellated gallery; lantern removed. Tower painted white with black trim. Small 1-story equipment building. Jim Bain's photo appears at right, Newman has photos, Trabas has a photo, Richard Law has a sunset photo, a 2008 closeup is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has historic postcard view showing the original appearance of the lighthouse. Located on a headland near Elie on the north side of the Firth of Forth. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. ARLHS SCO-074; Admiralty A3060; NGA 2552.
Elie Ness Light
Elie Ness Light, East Neuk, October 2008
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Jim Bain

Kirkcaldy Area Lighthouses
Methil Outer Pier
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); green light, 4 s on, 2 s off. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with a round, domed lantern. Lighthouse painted white. Michael Spencer has contributed a closeup photo, Trabas also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the pier in Methil on the north side of the Firth of Forth. Site and tower closed. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-287; Admiralty A3050; NGA 2532.
* Kirkcaldy (East Pier) (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. Light on a mast atop a square red brick equipment room. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east pier, marking the entrance to Kirkcaldy Harbour. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A3036; NGA 2512.

Burntisland and Aberdour Area Lighthouses
Inchkeith
1804 (Thomas Smith assisted by Robert Stevenson). Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); white flash every 15 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery rising from a 2-story stone keeper's house. Building painted brown, lantern black. Ronnie Leask's photo is at right, Trabas has a distant view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The lantern of the Girdle Ness lighthouse at Aberdeen was transferred here in 1847. Inchkeith is an island in the middle of the Firth of Forth about 4 km (2.5 mi) southeast of the Fife coast east of Burntisland and about 6.5 km (4 mi) north of Leith. The island guards the entrance to the upper Firth of Forth and the approach to Edinburgh. Located at the summit of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. ARLHS SCO-107; Admiralty A2912; NGA 2388.
* Burntisland East Pier Inner
Date unknown (station established early 1800s). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); two continuous green lights, one above the other. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern, originally painted white, with a tall lantern for the two lights. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the foot of the pier in Burntisland on the north side of the Firth of Forth. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. Admiralty A3032; NGA 2500.
Inchkeith Light
Inchkeith Light, Pettycur, August 2008
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Ronnie Leask
* Burntisland West Pier Outer
1879. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern, painted white. Trabas has a photo, Allan Hutchison has a 2008 sunset view, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the pier in Burntisland on the north side of the Firth of Forth. Site and tower closed, but the light is easily viewed from shore. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-319; Admiralty A3026; NGA 2508.
* Hawkcraig Point Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); 2.5 s on, 2.5 s off. 4 m (13 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white with one red horizontal band. The light is shown through a small square window. Trabas has a photo, Richard Webb has a 2009 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 1 km (0.6 mi) east of Aberdour. Accessible by a short walk from the end of Hawkcraig Road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SCO-370; Admiralty A2915; NGA 2390.
* Hawkcraig Point Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); 2.5 s on, 2.5 s off. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white with one red horizontal band. The light is shown through a small square window. Trabas has a photo, Richard Webb has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 100 m (110 yd) west northwest of the front light, adjacent to a parking area. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SCO-371; Admiralty A2915.1; NGA 2390.1.
Oxcars
1886 (Thomas and David A. Stevenson). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two flashes every 7 s, white or red depending on direction. 22 m (72 ft) masonry tower, painted white with a red band. Bill Mitchell has a 2008 photo, Trabas has a distant view, Marinas.com has excellent aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Built on a rock in the middle of the Firth of Forth about 4 km (2.5 mi) southeast of Dalgety Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-166; Admiralty A2916; NGA 2392.
Inchcolm
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower, painted white, adjacent to a 1-story equipment room. Fog horn (3 blasts every 45 s). Trabas has a good photo by Douglas Cameron, and Google has a satellite view. The island of Inchcolm, the site of a historic abbey founded in 1123, lies 400 m (1/4 mi) off the north coast of the Firth of Forth near Aberdour. The island is accessible via tours from Edinburgh. Located at the east point of the island, southwest of Aberdour. Site status unknown. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-307; Admiralty A2916.5; NGA 2408.

Oxcars Light, Aberdour, May 2009
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Simon Johnston

Upper Firth of Forth (North Queensferry Area) Lighthouses
* North Queensferry
1812 (John Rennie). Reactivated (inactive 1877(?)-2010), now unofficial; focal plane about 7 m (23 ft); light character unknown. 5 m (17 ft) hexagonal stone tower with the original lantern but no gallery; unpainted. Stevie Spiers's photo is at right, Michael Spencer has contributed a closeup photo, another nice photo is available showing the lighthouse and the Forth Railroad Bridge, and Bing has a distant satellite view. In November 2006, plans were announced for a restoration of the lighthouse. After a number of delays, the restoration was carried out in the spring of 2010 and the light was relit by Princess Anne on 22 June. The North Queensferry Heritage Trust has a page for the lighthouse. Located at the foot of Ferryhill Street, between the Forth Road and Railroad bridges, near the Deep Sea World aquarium in North Queensferry. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS SCO-327.
#Beamer Rock
1892. Removed in 2012 for later display. 6 m (20 ft) tapered round tower, painted white with a red band at the top; no lantern. Ankes Leuchttürme has a good photo, Andy Duthie has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. In 2011 it was announced that construction of the Queensferry Crossing over the firth would require removal of the lighthouse, but the tower would be saved for display elsewhere. McIntyre Masonry has a page on the removal project. North Queensferry and South Queensferry have been in a bitter dispute as to which town should get the lighthouse. Formerly located on a rock in the middle of the Firth of Forth on the west side of the Forth Road Bridge (A90) about 1 km (0.6 mi) west of North Queensferry. ARLHS SCO-318; ex-Admiralty A2938; NGA 2424.
Rosyth Jetty (South Arm)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 5 m (17 ft); two long (2 s) flashes every 12 s, white or red depending on direction. Light mounted on a 4 m (13 ft) square, unpainted brick equipment room. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Rosyth (pronounced Ross-sythe) Harbour is a former Royal Navy dockyard that now serves as a terminal for fast ferries sailing across the North Sea to Zeebrugge, Belgium. Located at the end of the breakwater quay, about 3.3 km (2 mi) west of North Queensferry. Site probably closed, but there should be good views from the ferries. Admiralty A2942; NGA 2428.
* Charlestown
1866. Inactive since the 1950s. Originally a 4.5 m (15 ft) octagonal wood tower with lantern. Only the frame of the tower survives, together with an attached cast iron cabinet. Michael Spencer has contributed a photo, a more distant view is available, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was built by the North British Railway Company to guide ships carrying lime from mines near Charlestown. These facilities have long since closed. The light was in service as late as 1949, but it was probably deactivated sometime in the 1950s. Located on the west breakwater of Charlestown, on the north bank of the Firth of Forth about 7 km (4.5 mi) west of North Queensferry. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown.

North Queensferry Light, September 2006
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Stevie Spiers

Lighthouses South of the Firth of Forth

Falkirk Lighthouse
* Grangemouth (River Carron South Entrance) (2)
1876 (station established 1847). Inactive since the 1950s(?). Originally a 9.5 m (31 ft) round masonry tower, now in ruins. About 5 m (17 ft) of the tower remains. A 1968 photo was taken "prior to demolition," but apparently the ruins were allowed to stand. Google has a satellite view. Grangemouth is the eastern terminus of the Forth and Clyde Canal, which provides a route for small craft across the waist of Scotland between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Located on the north side of the canal entrance and the south side of the confluence of the River Carron and the upper Firth of Forth, about 30 km (19 mi) west of Edinburgh. The surrounding area is now a large petrochemical complex. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown.

Edinburgh City Lighthouses
Port Edgar West Breakwater
1931. Active; focal plane 4 m (13 ft); red light, 1.3 s on, 2.7 s off, visible only along the entrance channel to the harbor. 4 m (13 ft) white concrete equipment shelter. An 18 m (56 ft) square skeletal radar tower stands next to the light. Trabas has a photo, Richard Webb has a view from upriver, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater, about 500 m (0.4 mi) west of the Forth Road Bridge. Site status unknown. Admiralty A2934; NGA 2420.
Hawes Pier (2?)
1927? (station established 1905). No longer listed by the Admiralty, but the tower appears to carry at least a hazard light. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a robust square wooden pier. Skeletal tower painted yellow. A photo is available, David Dixon also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located off the end of the Hawes Pier just west of the Forth Road Bridge. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown.
* South Queensferry
1812 (John Rennie). Inactive since around 1920. 5 m (17 ft) hexagonal stone tower with lantern but no gallery; unpainted. This lighthouse formerly guided the ferries crossing the Firth of Forth; it was discontinued when the Forth Road Bridge was completed. Google has a satellite view. Located near the foot of the Hawes Pier, at the old ferry terminal on the south bank of the Firth just west of the Forth Road Bridge. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS SCO-328.
Inch Garvie
1886. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white light, 2 s on, 3 s off. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern; tower painted black, lantern white. A 2011 closeup photo is available, Trabas has a good photo, and Robbie Graham has a photo, but the bridge conceals the lighthouse in Google's satellite view. Located on a rock in the middle of the Firth of Forth on the east side of the Forth Railway Bridge at Queensferry. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-298; Admiralty A2920; NGA 2412.
* Granton
1884. Inactive. Approx. 15 m (50 ft) 12-sided cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 2-story depot and warehouse building. M.J. Richardson's photo is at right, Dave Henniker has posted a good closeup photo, and Google has an aerial view. The tower was used by the Northern Lighthouse Board as an experimental lighthouse; as far as we know it was never a regular aid to navigation. In 2002 it was sold as a music and TV studio. In 2005, the property became part of a large waterfront redevelopment project, with the lighthouse to be converted to a conference center and performance space. In late 2006 the tenant, Lighthouse Studios, was told to be out by May 2007. As of summer 2008, the City of Edinburgh Council's web site described waterfront redevelopment, saying "In addition to new housing, there will a key focal point - Granton Lighthouse ‘Heritage’ Hotel which will have food and beverage outlets." By late 2012, however, the building was being advertised as a "artisans village development" with gallery space for artists and craftspeople. Located on the south shore of the Firth of Forth at 20 West Harbour Road near Chestnut Street in the Granton neighborhood of Edinburgh. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Waterfront Edinburgh. ARLHS SCO-335.
Granton Light
Granton Light, Edinburgh, March 2008
Geograph Creative Commons photo by M.J. Richardson

* Granton Middle Pier
Date unknown (station established 1845). Inactive since 1970. 12 m (39 ft) steel post carrying a lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted green. GrantonHistory.org has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has an aerial view. Located on the broad middle pier at Granton. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty A2905.
* Granton East Breakwater (2)
Date unknown (station established early 1900s). Active; focal plane 5 m (17 ft); red flash every 2 s. 5 m (17 ft) square brick building, painted white. Alex Hewitt has a photo, Trabas has a photo, a 2011 photo is available, and Google has an aerial view. Forand has a postcard view of the original lighthouse, a 5.5 m (18 ft) wood tower. Located at the end of the east breakwater at Granton. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A2904; NGA 2380.
* Newhaven
1869 (?). Inactive at least since the late 1960s. 15 m (50 ft) octagonal cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A closeup and a 2012 view are available, Christine McIntosh has a nice view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Forand has an early 1900s postcard view, Google has an aerial view. According to the British Listed Buildings web site, the lighthouse was built in 1869 but not lit until 1878. The tower was prefabricated in Edinburgh by James Dove & Company. Located at the end of the north breakwater of the old Newhaven Harbour, about 1.6 km (1 mi) east of Granton. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SCO-332.
* Leith West Breakwater
1938 (station established 1828). Inactive since 2008. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower rising from a 1-story building, all painted white. A closer photo and another good photo are available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a fine aerial view. A large portfolio of 2008 photos shows the poor condition of this abandoned and vandalized lighthouse. Located at the end of the breakwater in Leith. This lighthouse is in an industrial dockyard area and is rarely visited, but it is possible to walk to the light. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Forth Ports PLC. ARLHS SCO-120; ex-Admiralty A2885.5; ex-NGA 2372.
* Burntisland East Breakwater (relocated to Leith)
1876. Inactive. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal cylindrical sheet iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with black trim. Scott Denham 's photo is at right, Tom Parnell has a 2010 photo, and Google has an aerial view. Thanks to Bill Newman for researching the identity of this lighthouse: it was originally at the end of the east breakwater at Burntisland. We don't know when it was deactivated, but it was relocated across the Firth of Forth to Leith around 1990. Located at Tower Place on the west side of the Water of Leith, a small estuary that curves through the downtown area of the city. Site open, tower closed.
Leith East Breakwater
1937. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 4 m (13 ft) octagonal stone tower with lantern. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. Sandy Gemmill has a photo, Trabas also has a photo, the light appears in the right background of a photo of the west pier lighthouse, and Google has an aerial view. Located at the end of the east breakwater pier of the Leith Docks. Site and tower apparently closed. Owner/site manager: Forth Ports PLC. Admiralty A2884; NGA 2368.

Burntisland East Breakwater Light at Water of Leith, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Scott Denham

East Lothian Lighthouses
Fidra Island
1885 (Thomas and David A. Stevenson). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); four white flashes, separated by 2.7 s, every 30 s. 17 m (56 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white with buff trim, watch room buff, lantern black. Dave Ferris has a photo, Richard Webb has a 2009 closeup, Marinas.com has good aerial photos, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The island is said to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island. Like Bass Rock, it is an important nesting ground for seabirds. Located on the northwest corner of the island, about 3 km (2 mi) northwest of North Berwick. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed; the best way to see the light is on cruises from the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. Site manager: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Fidra Nature Reserve). ARLHS SCO-080; Admiralty A2868; NGA 2352.
Bass Rock
1903 (David A. Stephenson). Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); three white flashes, separated by 2.5 s, every 20 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Tower painted white with buff trim, lantern buff with a black dome. A photo by Lisa Jarvis is at right, Newman has distant photos, Lee Kindness has a good photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Forand has a historic postcard view, but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Bass Rock is a steep crag on the southern entrance to the Firth of Forth, rising about 105 m (350 ft) above the sea. Richard Webb has a photo of the gannets surrounding the lighthouse. It is an important nesting ground for seabirds, especially gannets; the common northern species was named Morus bassanus for the island. Located about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of North Berwick. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed; the best way to see the light is on cruises from the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. ARLHS SCO-018; Admiralty A2864; NGA 2344.
* Barns Ness
1901 (David A. Stephenson). Inactive since 2005. 37 m (121 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story service building. Tower painted white; lantern dome is black. The two 1-story keeper's houses and other light station buildings are leased as private residences. Richard West's photo is at the top of this page, Newman has photos, Walter Baxter has a 2008 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Forand has a postcard photo from around 1950, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse, which marks the southern entrance to the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh, was deactivated on 24 October 2005. In 2006 the Northern Lighthouse Board placed the light station on sale, and it was sold for more than £100,000 to the Lafarge Company, which already owned the keeper's houses. The area surrounding the light station is a public preserve, with free parking and beach access. Located just off the beach about 5 km (3 mi) east of Dunbar. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can viewed at close range from the surrounding parkland. Owner/site manager: Lafarge Companies. ARLHS SCO-015; ex-Admiralty A2854; NGA 2328.
Bass Rock Light
Bass Rock Light, Firth of Forth, May 2007
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Lisa Jarvis

Berwickshire (Scottish Borders) Lighthouses
* St. Abbs Head
1862 (David and Thomas Stevenson). Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) domed lantern on the roof of a 1-story service building. 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Building painted white, lantern black. This station was the site of Scotland's first fog siren (1876-1987). The keeper's house is atop the 90 m (300 ft) cliff; a flight of stairs leads steeply down to the lighthouse. Walter Baxter's photo is at right, Newman has photos, Trabas has an excellent photo by Arno Siering that has the same perspective as Huelse's historic postcard view, Marinas.com has spectacular aerial photos, Forand has a historic postcard photo, and Google has a good satellite view. The cape is named for St. Æbbe, the abbess of a seventh century monastery; foundations of the monastery have been found near the lighthouse. Fred Fox, who trained at the lighthouse, reports his experiences in 1973. Located on a spectacular rocky headland about 8 km (5 mi) north of Eyemouth. Accessible by a popular hiking path of about 7 km (4 mi) round trip. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Northern Lighthouse Board. Site manager: National Trust for Scotland (St. Abbs National Nature Reserve). ARLHS SCO-224; Admiralty A2850; NGA 2320.
* Eyemouth Promenade
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 9 m (30 ft); continuous red light. Light mounted at the gable end of a 2-1/2 story masonry building. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a directional light guiding small craft in their approach to the narrow harbor entrance. Located on the Promenade in Eyemouth. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A2841.5.
St. Abbs Head Light
St. Abbs Head Light, Eyemouth, October 2011
Geograph Creative Commons photo by Walter Baxter

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Leith East Pier (18th century-ca. 1950?), Leith. Nothing seems to be known about the lighthouse shown in this old engraving. An early 1900s photo (halfway down the page, on the right) shows a smaller light on the pier.
  • Leith West Pier (1829-ca. 1950?), Leith. An early 1900s photo (halfway down the page, on the left) shows this light. The west pier has been removed.
  • Tayport East Pier (1829-ca. 1950?), Tayport.

Notable faux lighthouses:

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Adjoining pages: North: Eastern Scotland | South: Northeastern England

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Posted September 9, 2004. Checked and revised October 5, 2013. Lighthouses: 40. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.