The Scottish coastline remains one of the most dangerous in the world. The story of how her margins were lit is one of determined engineering endeavour and heroic struggle against the elements. The Northern Lighthouse Board, formed in 1786, continues to assist mariners and live up to its motto 'In Salutem Omnium', for the safety of all. The story begins in Egypt, with one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, for all lighthouse builders have learned from their predecessors. Using the collections of National Museums Scotland, this account shows how the world's first rock lighthouse in the dangerous English Channel at the Eddystone Reef off Plymouth was first destroyed by storm and then by fire, before being made in stone, and outlasting the rock itself. The lessons learned there were absorbed by the young Robert Stevenson, whose apprenticeship with his stepfather Thomas Smith allowed him to experience at first hand the darkness and the dangers of Scotland's perilous coastline. Stevenson's building of a lighthouse on the dangerous Inchcape Reef, or Bell Rock, 11 miles from Arbroath, would prove to be his most important engineering success. Robert Stevenson's family was associated with lighthouse construction for a further three generations, not only in Scotland, but in Newfoundland, Burma, Japan and New Zealand. This account, drawn from their writings and illustrated by the unmatched collection of light-house artefacts; often made for exhibition at the nineteenth century international trade fairs in London and Paris, now held by National Museums Scotland, is brought up to date with how the Northern Lighthouse Board operates today.
The value of the work lies in the detailed annotations provided for material concerning aspects of Scottish life which are 'buried' in reports relating to the UK as a whole. Such material is frequently detailed and unique in the information it provides and yet cannot be traced via any index currently available.
2400 entries, bringing together eminent names from every era and discipline, focusing not just on the well known but also on those whose achivement has previously been neglected.
Scotland is probably the only sovereign nation to have chosen, in a more or less free vote, to surrender its independence in order to merge with a larger, more powerful, neighbour. For most of the period since the Union of 1707 the Scots were enthusiastic partners with England in creating and administering the British Empire. Inevitably, therefore, the end of empire caused an identity crisis in Scotland. For more than a Century pressure for political home rule produced no tangible result; however, the decisive vote in favour of devolution in the referendum of September 1997 means that a restored Scottish Parliament is now likely to be in place by the millennium. Irrespective of political developments, the last two decades have seen a renaissance in Scottish culture and historiography. This bibliography fully reflects the wealth of new developments in Scottish life and culture over the past twenty years and the new vibrancy of Scottish publishing.
From the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the remote wilderness areas, this comprehensive guide explores Scotland's unique culture, history, music, and food, and points out the best pubs, bed and breakfasts, historical landmarks, and other places to visit. 32 maps. color photos.
For centuries the seas around Scotland were notorious for shipwrecks. Mariners' only aids were skill, luck, and single coal-fire light on the east coast, which was usually extinguished by rain. In 1786 the Northern Lighthouse Trust was established, with Robert Stevenson appointed as chief engineer a few years later. In this engrossing book, Bella Bathhurst reveals that the Stevensons not only supervised the construction of the lighthouses under often desperate conditions but also perfected a design of precisely chiseled interlocking granite blocks that would withstand the enormous waves that batter these stone pillars. The same Stevensons also developed the lamps and lenses of the lights themselves, which "sent a gleam across the wave" and prevented countless ships from being lost at sea. While it is the writing of Robert Louis Stevenson that brought fame to the family name, this mesmerizing account shows how his extraordinary ancestors changed the shape of the Scotland coast against incredible odds and with remarkable technical ingenuity.
Presenting a re-evaluation of the documentary sources, this study is based on the physical examination of weights and measures in the National Museums of Scotland and other collections.