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Fife Ness Harbour - Balcomie, Fife

Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

The site used by Robert Stevenson to build the North Carr Beacon.

A wide view looking down on the ruined harbour and the rings cut into the rock by Robert Stevenson to aid in the construction of the North Carr Beacon in 1813-16.

The half-submerged part is a man-made quay within the natural rock harbour.

This harbour - or creek in old terms - was used by the Royal Burgh of Crail as one of many collection points for Customs dues and is also where Mary of Guise - the French noblewoman who was the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots - landed in Scotland in June 1538 on her way to meet her husband, James V.

They had married by proxy some weeks earlier.

The nearby tide mill can be seen here: Fife Ness Tide Mill


Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

More overhead, from about 65 feet (20 metres).

The straight lines on the right running up to the old quayside were for rail tracks to transport the stones from the test bed to the boats.

The square cuts at the bottom left and off to the right were the bases of cranes used to lift the heavy stones and steelwork.


Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

From closer in the cuts in the rocks and details become clearer.

The small rings were probably cut to test the steel parts of the construction and the larger semi-circles were to fit the stones together to check for size before moving them by boat over to the rock, a mile or so offshore.


Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

The annotation on this image gives you an idea of the sizes and depths of the cuts.


Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

As you can see, there were difficulties with the site chosen.


Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

Two ground-level views, at low tide and near a full spring tide.


Bell Rock Lighthouse construction site, Fife Ness Harbour, Balcomie, Fife, Scotland

Finally, looking north towards the Tide Mill with the harbour on the right.

The old Customs and Coastguard cottage is to the left.

The rings are just below and right of the exact centre of this image, close by the information board.



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