Northern Lights

The Age of Scottish Lighthouses

By Alison Morrison-Low

Format: Paperback

The book is published to celebrate the 200th anniversary, on 11 February 2011, of the world's oldest rock lighthouse, the Bell Rock Lighthouse, off the coast of the county of Angus, Scotland.

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National Museums of Scotland Enterprises - Publishing

NMS publishes a wide variety of books relating to history, culture, natural science etc and museum exhibitions.

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The Bell Rock Lighthouse, the world's oldest rock lighthouse situated off the coast of the county of Angus, was built by the famous Stevenson engineers, and has its 200th anniversary on 11 February 2011. Northern Lights celebrates that occasion. This fully illustrated book tells the story of Scotland's lighthouses through objects, charts and photographs, using National Museums Scotland's pre-eminent collection of sea-marking amterial from the Northern Lighthouse Board, and also items from the Stevenson family. For reasons explained in the book, historic items relating to the building of the earlier Eddystone Lighthouse, located in the English Channel, are also held by the museum, and John Smeaton's stone-built construction there must be seen as the inspiration for Robert Stevenson's structure.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint National Museums of Scotland Enterprises - Publishing
Publication Date 13 Oct 2010
ISBN 9781905267477
Number of Pages 176

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Press Reviews

' - The great strength and attraction of Alison Morrison-Low's work is how it draws heavily on the archives and original artifacts under the care of the NMS, and on erudite textual sources, the scope and breadth at which one can only gasp in wonder. - the text is intense and specific. It oozes the highest quality of learned research and application - the well-chosen illustrations arrest the reader's attention to tarry for a while - this is undoubtedly a seminal work, a tour de force, an amazing achievement, and a thoroughly worthy advocate to glorify that other great work, Bell Rock lighthouse.' Lamp: The Quarterly Journal of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers ' - While the history of American's lighthouses is fascinating, nothing can really compare to the amazing history of the lighthouses of Scotland, which truly has one of the most dangerous coastlines in the world. - the images it does [have] truly complement the story, especially the wonderful rare and old images. - a "must have" for anyone interested in learning more about the early lighthouse development in Scotland and the Stevenson family - ' Lighthouse Digest ' - Lavishly illustrated, Morrison-Low's book traces the history of lighthouses, mainly in Scotland, using largely the extensive collections held by the National Museums of Scotland. Particularly interesting chapters, both with well-chosen illustrations, are those on the various early attempts to erect a light on the Eddystone Rocks - and on the building of the Bell Rock - ' Ayrshire Notes ' - the footnotes, references, bibliography and index are all exemplary, - it evidently reflects deep knowledge, widespread interest, and great enthusiasm on the part of the author, and will long remain canonical within the literature of Scottish industrial architecture.' Society of Antiquaries journal 'The building of the Bell Rock lighthouse is described in fascinating detail, which includes information on the painstaking preparation needed for the project, the workers involved in the dangerous building operation and the exhilarating moment when the lighthouse was finally lit ... dramatic images of landing people and equipment on lighthouses, charts and plans for proposed lighthouses, and artefacts such as oil lamps and mariners; instruments.' Scottish Memories ' ... Overall, this is a broad-ranging account that successfully moves beyond a purely romanticised view of lighthouse and beneath the architectural surface, emphasising the extent to which they are complex technological systems that really do save lives.' Journal for Maritime Research ' ... Scots are proud of the Stevenson family and the lighthouses they built, which are objects of great beauty as well as magnificent technical achievements. This well-researched volume does justice to this heritage, introducing many aspects not covered by previous authors. it also reflects the quality of the lighthouse collection at National Museums Scotland.' International Journal of Nautical Archaeology

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