Online Encyclopedia

THE BASS ROCK

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 498 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THE BASS ROCK, a small island in the Firth of Forth, about 2 M. from Canty Bay, Haddingtonshire, Scotland. It is circular in shape, measuring a mile in circumference, and is 350 ft. high. Mersenne, ob. cit., and Michael Praetorius, Svntagma Musicum (Wolfenbuttel, 1618), both of whom describe anti figure these forms of early bassoons. 7 Op. cit. vol. vii. p. 38. named as the probable author of the transformation of pommer On three sides the cliffs are precipitous, but they shelve towards the S.W., where landing is effected. The Bass Rock is an intrusive mass of phonolitic t:rachyte or orthophyre. No nepheline has been detected in the rock, but analcite is present in small quantity together with abundant orthoclase and green sodaaugite. It bears a close resemblance to the eruptive masses of North Berwick Law and Traprain Law, but. is non-porphyritic. It is regarded by Sir A. Geikie as a plug filling an old volcanic vent, from which lava emanated during the Calciferous Sandstone period. It used to be grazed by sheep, of which the mutton was thought to be unusually good, but its principal denizens are sea-birds, chiefly solan geese, which haunt the rock in vast numbers. A lighthouse with a six-flash lantern of 39,000candle power was opened in 1902. For a considerable distance E. and W. there runs through the rock a tunnel, about 15 ft. high, accessible at low water. St Baldred, whose name has been given to several of the cliffs on the shore of the mainland, occupied.a hermitage on the Bass, where he died in 756. In the 14th century the island became the property of the Lauders, called afterwards Landers of the Bass, from whom it was purchased in 1671 by government, and a castle with dungeons was erected on it, in which many Covenanters were imprisoned. Among them were Alexander Peden (1026-1686), for four years, and John Blackadder (1615-1686), who died there after five years' detention. At the Revolution four young Jacobites captured the Rock, and having been reinforced by a few others, held it for King James from June 1691 to April 1694, only surrendering when threatened by starvation. Thus the. island was the last place in Great Britain to submit to William III. Dismantled of its fortifications in 1701, the Bass passed into the ownership of Sir Hew Dalrymple, to whose family it belongs. It is let on annual rental for the feathers, eggs, oil and young of the sea-birds and for the fees of visitors, who, reach it usually from Canty Bay and North Berwick.
End of Article: THE BASS ROCK
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