Hello, my friends. How are you guys today? I’ve missed you. I have been away on holiday with Mr. C and his parents, off the grid, and making memories. I’m excited to catch up on all the things you’ve been up to and eager to share some of the best moments from our trip. For today, though, I’d like to show you a tiny island located in the outer part of Scotland’s Firth of Forth. This island is called Bass Rock, and it is a beast of a thing!
Rising to a height of more than 300 ft., the rocky island is a steep-sided volcanic plug that dates to the Carboniferous Age – arising a whopping 300+ million years ago. From a distance, the rock surface can appear white, almost as if covered in a dusting of snow. That is because of the presence of the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. In fact, in the peak of their nesting season, it is estimated that more than 150,000 of these sea birds call Bass Rock home!
In addition to being an important avian conservation spot, Bass Rock also played an interesting part in Scotland’s history. The island is associated with St. Baldred, a hermit and evangelist who spread Christianity to the people living in the Lothians during the sixth century. The abbot eventually chose this uninhabited rock as his place of refuge and lived out the remainder of his life there as a hermit. Following his death around 756, a chapel was built on the site of his cell. A second chapel was constructed in the mid-1500s, and the ruins are still visible today.
Bass Rock features in various works of fiction, including Catriona written by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The earliest recorded proprietors of Bass Rock were the Lauder family, and incredibly, they held onto this possession for several hundred years. They likely built the castle, the ruins of which are visible below the chapel and dominated by a 20th-century lighthouse. From the 1500s through the 1600s, Tantallon served as a fortress and as a prison during the time of the Covenanters and the Jacobites. The island was also a strategic stronghold during the Scottish and English Wars.
Today this tiny island with the giant personality belongs to the Hamilton-Dalrymple family, who acquired the massive rock in the 1700s. Can you imagine owning such a thing? I certainly cannot!
Friends, if you’re ever in Edinburgh or the vicinity, it’s worth making the 30ish miles east to see this amazing “tiny” island. I think you’ll be just as impressed with it as I was.
Take care, and I’ll see you again soon!
*Gannet photos courtesy of Pixabay
17 thoughts on “Bass Rock-A Tiny Scottish Island With a Giant Personality”
Fascinating and beautiful! Thanks for sharing this 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Amazing! Wonderful Gannet shot too. X
Glad you enjoyed it, Shazza!
Oh, now this just makes me homesick for bonnie Scotland! I love watching gannets divebomb into the water! They’re so elegant, and amazingingly fast!
Aw, are you from Scotland? I’m going back in the spring and I can’t wait!
I immigrated to Scotland from Kansas back when I was 20; my main home was Paisley, with a good amount of time spent living also at Overtoun House, Dumbarton. We go back (from Switzerland) every few years for holidays – we were in Shetland last year!
Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures, dear!
Why thank you, Reni. 🙂
Thank you Wendy. I have lots of happy memories of sailing trips round the Bass Rock with my aunt and uncle, who had a little pleasure cruiser. Special days.
How wonderful. I bet those are special memories.
Thank you very much! 🙂
When my husband and his cousin were about 14 or 15 they decided to row round the Bass Rock. They didn’t tell their mothers where they were going and by the time they got back the lifeboat was just being launched. We always put a donation in thr Lifeboat collection when we go to North Berwick!
What a funny story! I bet their mothers tanned their hides when they got home. 😀
They certainly weren’t pleased!