Elie Ness Lighthouse is located on the promontory between Inchkeith and the Isle of May. It was built following shipowners’ complaints that they couldn’t see the Isle of May or Inchkeith lighthouses in poor weather.
In 1907 the Board of Trade approved plans for the new lighthouse, and an agreement was reached that the local Elie Coastguards would become the Lighthouse Attendants.
Elie Ness Lighthouse was first lit on 1st October 1908 following trials of the light for several months.
The light was operated using Acetylene gas and was later converted to electric operation in July 1959. The lantern was then removed, and the tower altered to how it is now. The light was electrified in 1959, and the lantern replaced with a buoy lantern.
The full-time Coastguard ceased operation at Elie in 1969, and a local man, Eddy Stephen became the local Attendant and Observer.
Forth Ports took over responsibility for Elie Ness Lighthouse in 2013.
Just offshore is the East Vows Beacon. This was built lit in 1847 marking the Thill Rock. It was originally painted black then red and in the 1980s became a South Cardinal mark.
The beacon had a caged structure at its top, possibly as a refuge for shipwrecked sailors.
The red port buoy marking the rock was removed in 2008.