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Fife Ness Harbour
Balcomie, in the East Neuk of Fife

Fife Ness Harbour

A wide view looking down on the ruined harbour and the rings cut into the rock by Robert Stevenson to aid in the construction of the North Carr Beacon in 1813-16.

The half-submerged part is a man-made quay within the natural rock harbour.

This harbour - or creek in old terms - was used by the Royal Burgh of Crail as one of many collection points for Customs dues and is also where Mary of Guise - the French noblewoman who was the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots - landed in Scotland in June 1538 on her way to meet her husband, James V.

They had married by proxy some weeks earlier.

Fife Ness Harbour

From closer in the detail becomes clearer.

The straight lines on the right running up to the old quayside were for rail tracks to transport the stones from the test bed to the boats.

The square cuts at the bottom left and off to the right were the bases of cranes used to lift the heavy stones and steelwork.

Fife Ness Harbour

Even closer.

The small rings were probably cut to test the steel parts of the construction and the larger semi-circles were to fit the stones together to check for size before moving them by boat over to the rock, a mile or so offshore.

Fife Ness Harbour

The annotation on this image gives you an idea of the sizes and depths of the cuts.

Fife Ness Harbour

Two ground-level views, one at low tide and the other near a full spring tide.

Fife Ness Harbour

As you can see, there were difficulties with the site chosen.

That said, the sea levels 200 or more years ago were possibly lower.

Fife Ness Harbour

Finally, looking north towards the Tide Mill with the harbour on the right and the old Customs and Coastguard cottage to the left.

The rings are lower and right of the centre of this image, close by the information board.

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