The world’s smallest working light tower and Scotland’s smallest museum can be found at the head of John Rennie’s Town Pier. The North Queensferry Light Tower and Museum are two unique miniature delights that appeal to visitors young and old alike.
Built in 1817 by Robert Stevenson (grandfather of the author Robert Louis Stevenson), the miniature North Queensferry Light Tower guided boats safely across the Firth of Forth until the ferry service closed in the 1960s. This important part of Scottish maritime history was carefully restored and reopened in 2010 by The Princess Royal.
You can now visit to climb the 24 stairs up to the lamp, learn how it was powered before gas and electricity and discover how the unique signalling system worked. This is a real delight for everyone - especially children and lighthouse baggers.
By prior arrangement, you can also become part of the tower’s history by lighting the Argand lamp (a type of oil lamp) and receiving a Certificate of Competence as an Honorary Keeper of the Light. To arrange this, simply contact the North Queensferry Heritage Trust via email to email@example.com or via Facebook with the desired time and date of your visit. A volunteer from the North Queensferry Heritage Trust must be present to oversee the lighting of the lamp and will be pleased to assist with any photography required. A typical donation of £20 is appreciated.
North Queensferry Light Tower Museum
Adjacent to the light tower is possibly the smallest museum you’ll ever visit. The tiny wee Light Tower Museum houses lots of interesting information about the Light Tower, the Old Town Pier, and of course, the Forth Bridge – fondly known locally as “our grand old lady”.
The Town Pier itself was completed by John Rennie in 1813 to serve the busy Queensferry Passage route. It was extended some years later by Thomas Telford to allow steamboats to land. It is now only for recreational use.
Lots of boat trips depart from here. Continue along the coast and you’ll find a small playpark suitable for little ones with stunning views of all three bridges for grown-ups.
When the railway reached North Queensferry in 1877, the large-draft steam-ferry traffic transferred to the new Railway Pier in West Bay (opposite). From 1890, rail passengers used the Forth Bridge while goods traffic used the Railway Pier until 1954. The ferries closed when the Forth Road Bridge opened in 1964. The Railway Pier is now home to the North Queensferry Boat Club.