The Old Harbour Light Tower Refurbishment


Designed by Robert Stevenson and re-erected in 1817 from the adjacent Signal house that previously housed the lightroom which was installed on top of the outer staircase in 1812. February 2009 saw the start of the refurbishment work on the Light Tower.

The 2nd of February 2009 saw the project commence with the erection of all necessary scaffolding and working platforms. On the 4th, the engineering contractor moved in to assess how best to remove the entire lightroom with one lift of the crane.

200 years of time, tides and the prevailing winds would ensure that decay to a greater or lesser extent would be present in the cast iron windows and copper roof. The full extent would only be known once the lightroom was safely inside the iron foundry and tests carried out.

The lightroom was successfully released from the tower on 5th February 2009 in the presence of many onlookers and children from the local school. The children have already indicated their willingness to be involved with the restoration and introduction in the use of traditional skills.

A photographic record has been taken at every stage of the refurbishment process for this unique project and the picture gallery shows some of the work undertaken to achieve the first phase of the project and method used to protect the remainder of the tower from severe weather. This gallery will be updated on a regular basis as progress is made.

The history of the original Queensferry Passage, as named by an Act of Parliament in 1809, is quite remarkable and is perhaps not as well known as it ought to be, considering its importance in the development of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

A book is to be published on the ‘Queensferry Passage’ detailing all new information recently discovered. For those of you who have an appetite for history, the article recently published in ‘Forth Sight’ the newsletter from the Forth Estuary Forum gives an insight into the future plans.