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Issue 65 - Rocks of Ages

Scotland Magazine Issue 65
October 2012

 

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Rocks of Ages

The Carboniferous volcanic plug of Bass Rock, which sits approximately 1.5 miles out in the Firth of Forth, dominates the gorgeous East Lothian coastline.

The Carboniferous volcanic plug of Bass Rock, which sits approximately 1.5 miles out in the Firth of Forth, dominates the gorgeous East Lothian coastline.

The 7th century monk St Baldred lived on Bass Rock for a time and Covenanters were imprisoned here during the 1600s. Today Bass Rock is home to 80,000 gannets making it the largest single-rock gannetry in the world.

Overlooking Bass Rock is the remains of Tantallon Castle, which sits precariously on cliffs near to North Berwick. Tantallon Castle dates from the 1350s when it was built by William Douglas from the distinctive local red sandstone. The Douglas family were one of the most powerful in Scotland at the time and therefore Tantallon Castle came under siege many times, finally succumbing to Oliver Cromwell’s marauding army in 1651.

When viewed separately both Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle are stirring sights but when seen together from the local countryside these two rocky bastions, one natural and one manmade, provide the focal point of a stunning spectacle, one that extends across the Firth of Forth to the beautiful coastline of Fife.