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Wave-swept Bell Rock Lighthouse, about five miles from Arbroath in southeastern Scotland, was designed by the engineer Robert Stevenson of the famous Stevenson family of engineers. The granite tower, first lighted in 1811, was built so well that none of it has needed to be repaired or replaced in more than 200 years. It’s the oldest wave-swept, or sea-washed, granite lighthouse in the world.
The keepers at Bell Rock lived inside the tower itself. The lighthouse operated in tandem with a shore station known as the Bell Rock Signal Tower, built in 1813 in Arbroath. The Signal Tower housed the families of the keepers, along with personnel who ran the lighthouse tender that supplied the light station.
The Signal Tower was converted into a museum in the 1970s. The museum has exhibits on Bell Rock Lighthouse and its keepers, as well as exhibits on the local manufacturing and fishing industries.
The Signal Tower is one of several museums operated by ANGUSalive. Caroline Taylor is the Heritage Learning and Engagement Lead at ANGUSalive.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org