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Lucky Scalp Beacon

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Lucky Scalp beacon, 1966
Lucky Scalp beacon in 1966
© Elliott Simpson

Lucky Scalp beacon is described as a folly, although it was more likely a navigation aid and site of a salmon fishing station. The 20 metre tower was built on an outcrop to the north of Tentsmuir during the middle of the 19th century.

The tower was was pulled down in 1979 by order of the District Council.[1]

Although it appeared to have been built on a natural outcrop, analysis of the material at the base - carried out after the accidental grounding of an oil tanker nearby - showed the material was not of local origin, but was similar to gravel found upstream, near Perth.

Lucky Scalp is believed to have been formed from gravel ballast dumped by lighters (cargo barges) during the 18th and 19th centuries. They would have supplied the ballast to seagoing ships moored at Tayport, with unused material being dumped on the tidal flats.

The dumped material was then worked by local salmon fishermen to provide a stable base to haul in their nets, then as the base for the tower.

The tower is shown as a landmark on mapping published after 1855, but not after 1983.


1 Scots Magazine, June 1979.

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Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-



Aerial views



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