The North Carr Beacon is located on rocks about a mile and a half northeast of Fife Ness. The rocks have always been a hazard to shipping entering the Firth of Forth.
A buoy was first moored on the rocks in 1809 but regularly broke loose. So Lighthouse Engineer Robert Stevenson designed a stone beacon to be built at the reef’s outer end with a bell at the top, which the tide would operate.
When the beacon was built, the stone was brought to a site just to the northeast of the current Fife Ness Lighthouse. Each block was cut to size and assembled on-site before being shipped out to the rocks. The base for the construction and template for this beacon is still clearly visible in the rocks’ footprint.
Work started on the tower in 1813 and took 5 years to build on the reef. However, when the beacon was almost complete, disaster struck when the beacon was washed away in a gale.
In 1840 a metal beacon replaced the stone tower on the rocks, and this remains today.
In 1887 the first lightship was moored off the North Carr Rocks. In 1975 the North Carr Lightvessel was replaced by an automatic beacon on the rocks.