Dynasty of Engineers

Dynasty of Engineers

The Stevensons and the Bell Rock

Roland Paxton

  • Celebrates the achievements of the Stevenson family of engineers
  • Unearths new information regarding the construction of the Bell Rock lighthouse
  • Chronology of over 200 lighthouses complemented by numerous colour photographs
  • Fascinating insight into Robert Louis Stevenson`s experience as a reluctant engineer
240 × 170mm
128 pages
32pp colour

In association with Northern Lighthouse Heritage Trust

The world’s oldest continuously operational rock lighthouse sits on the Bell Rock eleven miles off Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland. Its bicentenary is marked by this volume. In addition to providing biographies of the eight members of the Stevenson family who, over five generations from 1786 to 1952, contributed significantly to the nation’s infrastructure and international lighthouse engineering, the book also sheds new light on the design and erection of the lighthouse and the work of its engineers.

From little-known contemporary sources Professor Roland Paxton provides an authoritative account that clarifies the key roles of the eminent John Rennie and the relatively inexperienced Robert Stevenson. His painstaking investigation reveals that this sustainable marvel of lighthouse engineering was essentially a masterpiece of joint achievement by Rennie and Stevenson in the best tradition of the chief engineer/resident engineer relationship, finally laying to rest the well known and often bitter nineteenth-century dispute between their respective families.

The final part of the book is a reminder that the Stevenson inheritance lives on, with an up to date list of lighthouses the family were responsible for in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Virtually all of these are still operating and from their 18th, 19th, and 20th century structures, now all unmanned, 21st century technologies ensure that the lights still shine.

This book will be a must for all lighthouse enthusiasts but in addition there is a fascinating story here for anyone with an interest in the history of engineering and matters of the sea.

Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland KW6 6EG, UK T: +44(0)1593 731 333 F: +44(0)1593 731 400 E: info@whittlespublishing.com

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