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In his "Account", Stevenson includes among the engravings
at the end of the volume a detailed map of Rock, and gives
every rock, pool, ledge, and outcrop a name - calling them
after those who had been connected with the Lighthouse's
construction. Almost 70 in all!
The description of this Plate, representing the higher
parts of the Rock as seen at low-water of spring-tides,
affords the writer an opportunity of mentioning many distinguished
names connected either officially, or in a friendly manner,
with the erection of the Light-house. In corresponding about
the state of the Rock, he has often found the advantage
of this particular nomenclature of its different parts,
as affording a reference to all its localities.
SITE OF THE LIGHT-HOUSE, AND RAILWAY-TRACKS - The
site of the Light-house, which will be seen from the Plate,
was fixed by the writer in a central position of what may
be termed the House-Rock. From this, as a centre, the Railways
ramify in various directions. Upon these materials for the
erection of the house were conveyed, and they are still
partly preserved, as convenient foot-paths and wharfs, in
landing stores for the Light-house. The portions of the
Railway-tracks marked with light dotted lines were only
used during the continuation of the works; while those of
a deeper shade represent the permanent railways.
SITE OF CAPTAIN BRODIE'S BEACON - The late Captain
Joseph Brodie, of the Royal Navy, was perhaps not less known
to the public as the fortunate bearer of Lord Duncan's dispatches
announcing the victory obtained by the British fleet off
Camperdown, than for the unwearied exertions in keeping
up the interest of the public, relative to the important
results to navigation which would attend the erection of
a Light-house upon the Bell Rock.
SITE OF MR STEVENSON'S BEACON - The position of
the Beacon or temporary erection was fixed upon the southern
side of the site of the Light-house, with the ultimate view
of obtaining shelter from the breach of the north-east seas.
It was further important for the conveniency it afforded
of a communication during the progress of the works, by
means of a wooden bridge.
HALDANE'S LEDGE - situate on the south-eastern side
of the Rock, where the writer made his first landing with
his friend Mr James Haldane, architect.
GRAY'S ROCK - Towards the eastern side of the Rock
there is a small outlier, or reef, important as a low-water
mark, which is named Gray's Rock in compliment to the late
Mr John Gray, Writer to the Signet, and first Secretary
to the Light-house Board.
SMITH'S ROCK - situate on the eastern side of the
Light-house, derives its name from the late Mr Thomas Smith,
who introduced Reflecting-Lights upon the coast of Scotland,
and was the first Engineer to the Board.
CUNINGHAM'S LEDGE - this ledge of rock has its
name from Mr Charles Cuningham, Writer to the Signet, and
successor to Mr Gray as Secretary and Cashier to the Light-house
PORT HAMILTON - this creek is situate at the south-eastern
extremity of the House-rock, and derives its name from Mr
Robert Hamilton, Sheriff of Lanarkshire, and ex officio
one of the Commissioners of the Northern Light-houses; who
first landed here in the year 1805, accompanied by Mr Rennie
and the writer, with a view further to ascertain the practicability
of erecting the proposed Light-house. Mr Hamilton has been
a zealous member of the Bell Rock Committee since the period
of its institution in the year 1807, and from his literary
habits he has taken much interest in the pages of this work.
PORT RENNIE - is situate in the north-eastern part
of the House-rock, and derives its name from the late Mr
John Rennie, the celebrity and extent of whose works as
a Civil Engineer are well known to the public. Mr Rennie
was consulted by the Light-house Board relative to this
PORT STEVENSON - enters from the north-eastern side
of the Rock, and forms the principal landing place in that
direction; it was named for the writer by Mr Hamilton, at
the landing above alluded to, in the year 1805.
THE ABBOT'S LEDGE - forms the north-western extremity
of the House-rock, and derives its name from a tradition
(for we can find no authentic record) of one of the Abbots
of Aberbrothwick having erected an Alarm-bell, to forewarn
mariners of their danger in approaching the Bell Rock.
SIR RALPH THE ROVER'S LEDGE - forms the south-western
extremity of the House-rock, and takes the name of Sir Ralph
the Rover from a noted pirate who is said to have landed
upon it, and carried away the Alarm-bell. This traditionary
story is beautifully alluded to in a ballad by Mr Southey
in his Minor Poems.
DUNNICHEN LEDGE - on the north-western side of
the Rock, is named in compliment to Mr Dempster of Dunnichen.
DUNSKEY LEDGE - which is contiguous to the former,
is named in compliment to Sir James Hunter Blair of Dunskey,
first Preses [old Scots meaning Chairman] of the Commissioners
of the Northern Light-houses.
ARNISTON LEDGE - named in compliment to the late
Lord Chief-Baron Dundas of Arniston, who, while Solicitor-General
and Lord Advocate of Scotland, took an active in Light-house
affairs, and visited the Bell Rock in the year 1812.
RATTRAY LEDGE - in compliment to Mr Baron Clerk
Rattray, who, while Sheriff of the shire of Edinburgh, was
ex officio one of the Commissioners of the Northern Light-houses,
and, as one of the Bell Rock Committee, took much interest
in the work.
HOPE'S WHARF - forms the termination of the permanent
railway toward the west. It was named for the Right Honourable
Charles Hope, Lord President of the Court of Session, who
landed here in the year 1815. While Lord Advocate of Scotland
he took a warm interest in the affairs of the Northern Light-houses,
and in 1803 bought the first bill into Parliament for the
erection of the Bell Rock Light-house.
PULTENEY LEDGE - so named in compliment to Sir William
Pulteney, who, as a Member of Parliament, took a lively
interest in the bill brought forward for the Bell Rock Light-house
in the year 1803.
BANKS LEDGE - named in compliment to Sir Joseph
Banks, who was Vice-President of the Board of Trade in the
year 1806, when the Bill for the Light-house was in Parliament,
and who took much interest in it.
COCHRANE'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to Admiral
Sir Alexander Cochrane, who first called the attention of
the Light-house Board to an erection upon the Bell Rock.
PORT ERSKINE - forms the principal landing-place
on the western side of the rock, and derives its name from
the Honourable Henry Erskine, who, when Lord Advocate of
Scotland, and ex officio oone of the Commissioners of the
Northern Light-houses, brought the second Bill for the Bell
Rock Light-house in into Parliament, which passed in the
ULBSTER LEDGE - named in compliment to the Right
Honourable Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster, Chairman
of the Committee of the House of Commons, who brought up
its report relative to the Bell Rock Bill.
KELLIE LEDGE - named in compliment to the Earl
of Kellie, who visited the works at the Bell Rock in the
PITMILLY WHARF - formed the western extremity of
the landing-wharf in use during the Light-house operations,
and was named in compliment to Mr Monypenny, now Lord Pitmilly,
who, while in the commission both as Sheriff of Fife and
Solicitor-General of Scotland, was a member of the bell
Rock Committee, and visited the works in 1810.
KINEDDAR LEDGE - is named in compliment to the late
Mr William Erskine, Sheriff of Orkney and Shetland, and
a member of the Bell Rock Committee. From Mr Erskine's literary
pursuits, he took a lively interest in this work, before
he left the Light-house Board, and also after he was raised
to the Bench, where he took his seat as Lord Kineddar.
THE ABBOTSFORD - This spot, where the waters of
the two principal and opposite landing-places meet, is named
in compliment to Sir Walter Scott, Baronet, of Abbotsford,
who landed here in the year 1814.
RAE'S WHARF - forms the extremity of the southern
reach of the permanent railway, and derives its name from
Sir William Rae, Baronet, who, in the several capacities
of Sheriff-Depute and Lord Advocate of Scotland, has long
been a member of the Light-house Board and Bell Rock Committee.
His Lordship visited the Rock in 1810.
DUFF'S WHARF - derives its name from Mr Adam Duff,
Sheriff of the shire of Edinburgh, and a member of the Bell
Rock Committee, who repeatedly visited the works at the
Bell Rock while in progress, particularly in the year 1810.
PORT BOYLE - takes its name from the Right Honourable
David Boyle, Lord Justice-Clerk, who, while Solicitor-General
of Scotland, was a member of the Bell Rock Committee, and
visited the Light-house in the year 1811.
THE CROWN LAWYERS - This name is given to two detached
rocks, which lie in the south-eastern side of the House-rock,
in allusion to the Lord Advocate and Solicitor-general of
Scotland, who are ex officio Commissioners off the Northern
THE MARITIME SHERIFFS - This name comprehends a
range of Rocks, also on the south-eastern side of the main
Rock, in reference to the Sheriffs of maritime counties
who are ex officio Commissioners of the Northern Light-houses.
THE ROYAL BURGHS - A group of rocks lying on the
south-western side of the house-rock, so named from certain
of the Chief Magistrates of the Royal Burghs of Scotland
who are ex officio Commissioners of the Northern Light-houses.
TELFORD'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to Mr
Thomas Telford, Civil Engineer, who was requested by Sir
William Pulteney to visit the Bell Rock professionally in
the year 1803.
DOWNIE'S LEDGE - derives it name from the late Mr
Murdoch Downie, a Marine Surveyor of considerable eminence,
who suggest a plan for erecting a Light-house on the Bell
NEILL'S POOL - derives its name from Mr Patrick
Neill, a particular friend of the writer's, who first visited
the Bell Rock in 1808. The surface of this pool measures
about three fathoms across, and a fathom and a half in depth,
when the tide leaves the Rock. The bottom is generally covered
with boulder-stones, which are whirled about with much force
when the sea is in a state of agitation.
STUART'S TRACK - on the south-western side of the
Rock, derives its name from the late Captain Harry Stuart
of the Royal Navy, who visited the Bell Rock in the year
1810. Captain Stuart took an early interest in the plans
for the Light-house, both by Captain Brodie and the writer.
BRUCE'S LEDGE - was named in compliment to the memory
of the late Mr James Bruce of the Naval Yard, Leith, who
frequently visited the Bell Rock, and to whose ingenuity
the Light-house service is indebted for the improved construction
of a boat.
RUSSELL'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to Mr
Claud Russell, Accountant to the Light-house Board, who
visited the Rock in the year 1812.
SCORESBY'S POINT - the most northern part of the
Rock, named in compliment to the writer's friend Captain
Scoresby junior, who has so much extended our information
regarding the Polar Regions.
TRINITY ROCK - This rock is named in compliment
to a Committee of the Trinity House of Leith, consisting
of Messrs Thomas Grindlay, John Hay, and Thomas Richie,
who gave their advice and assistance in the fitting out
and mooring the Floating-light in the year 1807.
BALFOUR'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to the
late Provost Balfour of Arbroath, who felt the most lively
interest in the Light-house affairs. In his hospitable mansion
the writer occasionally resided while the works were in
LEITCH'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to the writer's
friend Mr Quintin Leitch, who visited the Rock in the year
PILLAN'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to the writer's
friend Mr James Pilllans of Leith, who took an early interest
in the erection of the Light-house, and who signs the Report
of the Merchants of Leith regarding it.
THE LAST HOPE - This name was given by the writer
to the highest part of the rock, in allusion to the narrow
escape which he and the artificers made in the year 1807,
by the timeous arrival of James Spink, the Bell Rock pilot
at Arbroath. Spink is a remarkably strong man, whose tout
ensemble is highly characteristic of a North-country fisherman.
He usually dressed in a pé-jacket, cut after a particular
fashion, and wears a large flat blue bonnet. A striking
likeness of Spink, in his pilot-dress, with the badge or
insignia on his left arm, which is characteristic of the
boatmen in the service of the Northern Lights has been taken
by Howe, and is in the writer's possession.
FOREST'S PASSAGE - This gully or opening on the
eastern side of the Rock, is sometimes taken as a track
by boats in certain states of the sea and tide. It derives
its name from the late Mr John Forrest, Superintendant of
Lightkeepers' duty in the service in the service of the
LOGAN'S REACH - This reach or compartment of the
Railway, on the eastern side of the Light-house, is named
in compliment of the late Mr Peter Logan, foreman-builder
at the Bell Rock, and his son Mr David Logan, clerk-of-works,
whose active and faithful services, in their respective
departments, have been too often noticed in this work to
admit of reference to particular pages.
WATT'S REACH - has its name in compliment to Mr
Francis Watt, foreman-millwright, whose services have also
already been so often particularised in the course of this
work, and whose exertions in erecting the beacon and temporary-railways
did much credit to his zeal and intrepidity. The writer
also often profited by his ingenuity, in reference to the
various pieces of machinery employed at the works.
KENNEDY'S REACH - derives its name from Mr Lachlan
Kennedy, who, as Accountant and Cashier in the Engineer's
Office, discharged the various duties of his situation in
a manner equally creditable to himself and satisfactory
to his employers.
SLIGHTS' REACH - named in compliment to Mr James
Slight, and his brother Alexander, who were chiefly employed
in drawing the courses of the building at large, and in
making the various and nicely formed moulds for fashioning
the stones. They also fitted up the interior of the house,
and the permanent railways on the Rock; and made a complete
model of the Light-house.
THE SMITHS' FORGE AND LEDGE - named in compliment
to Mr James Dove, foreman-smith, and his assistants, who
have been frequently alluded to in these pages. It was here
that the forge was erected at the commencement of the works
on the Rock; and on the connecting ledge the first or experimental
cargo of stones was landed.
REID'S LEDGE - is named in compliment to Mr John
Reid, the first principal Lightkeeper at the Bell Rock,
who retired from the service in the year 1821.
SELKIRKS' LEDGE - Named for Mr Robert Selkirk, principal
builder, and his brother Thomas, who was the principal stone-cutter
at the work.
WISHART'S LEDGE - is named for Mr Michael Wishart,
some time principal builder at the Rock.
GLEN'S LEDGE - This ledge has its name from Mr James
Glen, millwright and joiner.
JOHN WATT - A detached rock on the western side
of the main Rock, named for John Watt, principal mortar-builder
at the Bell Rock.
PETER FORTUNE - a detached reef on the western side
of the rock, named for a well known character in the Light-house
GLOAG'S TRACK - leads into Port Hamilton, and is
named for Mr Robert Gloag, who commanded the Light-house
Yacht in the year 1807, and who has otherwise had a good
deal of connection with the Light-house service.
MACURICH'S TRACK - on the western side of the Rock,
is named in compliment to Mr Thomas Macurich, mate of the
sloop Smeaton, and afterwards commander of the Bell Rock
Tender, who had a very narrow escape in a boat off the Rock.
WEBB'S ROCK - is named in compliment to Mr Joseph
Webb, one of the King's pilots at Yarmouth, who superintended
the fitting out and mooring of the Floating-light.
SINCLAIR'S TRACK - is named in compliment to Mr
George Sinclair, who, in 1807, commanded the Floating-light,
and acted as landing-master.
WILSON'S TRACK - named for Mr James Wilson, landing-master,
whose active and enterprising conduct is often noticed in
the course of this work. In the year 1815, Mr Wilson left
the Light-house service, when he was appointed one of the
Harbour-masters of Leith. The speaking-trumpet which he
used at the Bell Rock was presented to him, with the sanction
of the Light-house Board, when a suitable inscription was
engraved on a plate of silver attached to it.
TAYLOR'S TRACK - leads into Port Erskine, and derives
its name from Mr David Taylor, who commanded the Sir Joseph
Banks Tender during the progress of the works, and afterwards
became Light-house Storekeeper at Leith.
CALDER'S TRACK - situate on the north-western side
of the Rock, derives its name from Mr Thomas Calder, who
commanded the Light-house Yacht, and other craft, connected
with the works.
SOUTAR'S TRACK - derives its name from Mr Peter
Soutar, who was one of the Praam-masters while the works
were in progress. In 1815 he succeeded Mr James Wilson in
the command of the Light-house Yacht.
POOL'S TRACK - is named for Mr Robert Pool, commander
of the Smeaton stone-lighter, a very active and persevering
THE ENGINEER'S LEDGE - situate on the eastern side
of the rock, is named in compliment to certain of the Engineer's
assistants, who, though belonging more especially to his
general or private business, have nevertheless been occasionally
employed in the department of the Bell Rock, particularly
Mr John Steedman, Mr John Thin, Mr William Lorimer, Mr G.
C. Scott, and Mr Robert Shortreed.
THE ARTIFICERS - A name given to a panel of detached
rocks, lying on the north-western side of the main Rock,
in allusion to the numerous artificers employed at the works,
many of whom are now moving in spheres of more extended
usefulness, and, did our limits admit, would be deserving
of particular notice.
THE MARINERS - This is also a group of detached
rocks on the north-estern side of the Rock, which in like
manner is named in compliment to the exertions of the Seamen,
who, as men-of-all-works, gave a helping hand to every operation;
and many of whom deserve the warmest acknowledgments of
STRACHAN'S LEDGE - situate on the north-eastern
side of the Rock, was named for Mr Robert Strachan of Leith,
who fitted out the Floating-light, and narrowly escaped
being lost upon the Rock, when approaching it in a boat
which was upset in the year 1808.
CRAW'S HORSE - Another detached rock, deriving its
name from a narrow escape which the sloop Smeaton made in
foggy weather, while James Craw, who had charge of the stable,
and was principal carter at the workyard of Arbroath, was
on board, with one of his favourite horse, on his way to
Leith, to convey the upper part of the Lighthouse, from
Edinburgh, to be shipped for the Bell Rock.
The horse alluded to was a remarkably strong and powerful
animal, measuring about 16 hands in height, and having,
in the language of jockies, a great deal of bone. It is
not a little remarkable, that while the work was in progress,
this animal must actually have drawn the materials of the
Lighthouse, extending to upwards of 2000 tons in its finished
state, perhaps three of four times, in removing the blocks
of stone from the ship to the workyard, again to the platform,
and from the work-yard, when they were to be shipped for
the Rock, besides occasional movements to and from the hands
of the stone-cutters.
The fame of this animal's labours, together with his strength
and excellent proportion as a draught-horse, having attracted
the notice of Dr John Barclay, that eminent anatomist procured
the bones, and set them up in his Museum. This valuable
collection, it is understood, is to be bequeathed to the
College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; so that the bones of the
Bell rock horse, to use the Doctor's own language, "will
be seen and admired as a useful skeleton, and a source of
instruction, when those of his employers lie mingled with