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Firth Of Clyde, Horse Island, 'landmark'

Beacon (19th Century)(Possible)

Site Name Firth Of Clyde, Horse Island, 'landmark'

Classification Beacon (19th Century)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Horse Isle; Ardrossan Harbour Entrance; Outer Clyde Estuary

Canmore ID 277905

Site Number NS24SW 227

NGR NS 21288 42560

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Ardrossan
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS24SW 227 21288 42560

Landmark [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1981.

For (associated) Ardrossan Harbour, see NS24SW 36.00.

Not to be confused with Lady Isle Beacon (off Troon, at NS 27529 29325), for which see NS22NE 1 or Lappock Rock Beacon (NS c. 3017 3478), for which see NS33SW 127.

The 1981 edition of the OS 1:10,000 map notes what may be a beacon near the S end of Horse Island. It is not cited in the 1980 edition of the Admiralty List of Lights, or in any of the standard reference sources on Scottish lighthouses and beacons.

Horse Island [name centred NS 212 427] is a low-lying and irregular island which forms a major hazard to navigation, and is situated about 1km NNW of the entrance to Ardrossan harbour (NS24SW 36.00). The situation of this structure suggests that it was a beacon intended to indicate the extent of the island, and so to define the safe passage into the harbour.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 29 December 2005.


Construction (1811)

Unlit beacon.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007.

Aerial Photography (1 May 2007)

Project (2007)

This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

An unlit masonry beacon sea-mark near Shaw Rock at the south end of low grassy Horse Island about a mile northwest of Ardrossan harbour (NS24SW 36.00). It was built on the advice of John Ross, later famous as an arctic navigator. The tower, built in 1811, is 52 ft high and 19 ft square at its base, tapering to form a slender pyramid.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.


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