A 170-YEAR-OLD lighthouse is set to be rebuilt, after it was dismantled to make way for the new Queensferry Crossing across the Firth of Forth.
The distinctive red and white Beamer Beacon – which was an aid to navigation for generations of mariners – has been in storage since it was dismantled in 2011.
Plans have now been revealed to relocate it at St David’s Harbour, in Dalgety Bay, and to incorporate a bistro.
The Stevenson-built structure was first erected on Beamer Rock in 1846 at the request of Inverkeithing Town Council.
Although it is not listed, it is considered to be nationally important, having protected mariners passing up and down in the Forth for 165 years. It was painstakingly dismantled and removed by Transport Scotland in 2011 – with each block of stone carefully numbered and catalogued – to make way for the new bridge’s middle tower which now sits on top of the rock.
Hopes for the structure’s future were raised in 2017 after North Queensferry Heritage Trust asked for the beacon to be placed on an elevated position at Ferryhills.
The plans were shelved after objections from the local community amid fears it would worsen traffic issues on nearby Brock Street.
Fife Council member David Barratt, whose ward included Dalgety Bay, said he hopes the structure can now be rebuilt at St David’s Harbour, where planning permission for a bistro and lighthouse has already been granted.
The SNP politician said: “It would be a really positive thing for the area.
“If the lighthouse goes there, it improves the appeal for the area and makes it more likely that a bistro may, one day, be put in. It would be an improvement to the coastal path and the local area.
“If all goes well, it may be possible to get it up in the next few months.
Fife Council said the future of the Beamer Beacon was yet to be formally decided and its fate will be sealed at a meeting later this year.
The local authority’s chief planning officer Pam Ewen said: “We are currently involved in discussions to try and locate the Beamer Beacon at Dalgety Bay.”
The tower, which was originally known as the “Bimar Rock Light”, was erected to steer shipping away from a rocky outcrop after it had claimed a number of vessels.
It stood only 20 feet high, on the 150ft long rock, and it was intended as a day marker as it could not accommodate a light keeper and was installed to guard the entrance to Rosyth Dockyard and the inner Forth.
The tower had a curved wave-washed design which had been used before on the more impressive Eddystone and Bell Rock Lighthouses, also designed by Stevenson.
A fixed white light was only established on the tower in 1892, flashing a white light every three seconds, visible for nine nautical miles. Latterly, while operated by Forth Ports plc, the structure was painted white with the top half painted with a red band.
Original plans to re-erect it on land near the Forth Bridge were rejected by North Queensferry locals concerned that it could cause traffic issues.