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Arbroath Signal Tower Museum


Signal Tower Museum is located near Arbroath’s picturesque and busy harbour, in a complex of buildings originally used as the shore station and family accommodation for the Bell Rock Lighthouse. Built in 1813, Signal Tower served the lighthouse until 1955.

Both the lighthouse and the Signal Tower were built, for the Northern Lighthouse Board, by Robert Stevenson, founder of the famous Stevenson dynasty of lighthouse builders.

The Bell Rock Lighthouse still stands, 11 miles off-shore from Arbroath, on a dangerous semi-sunken reef. More than 200 years after its construction, the Bell Rock is Britain’s oldest surviving rock lighthouse.

Within the Signal Tower Museum, models, multi-media displays and historic objects explain the history of the lighthouse and allow visitors to explore the dangers of the sea. Stories of Arbroath’s fishing and maritime industries are interwoven with tales of Arbroath Smokies and the pirate Ralph the Rover.


  • Bell Rock Lighthouse Lens - This fine eight sided lens from the Bell Rock Lighthouse was used for over 80 years from 1902 as a warning to mariners.
photo of Bell Rock Lighthouse Lens
  • Bell Rock Lighthouse Bell, (1810) - One of two large bronze fog warning bells from the Bell Rock Lighthouse
photo of Bell Rock Lighthouse Bell
  • Book of Signals - A beautifully illustrated and hand drawn book showing the signals using flags and signal balls that were used to signal to the Bell Rock Lighthouse from the Arbroath Signal Tower. This book is signed by Robert Stevenson, engineer to the Bell Rock Lighthouse
photo of Arbroath Signal Book
  • Elsinore Bowl - A memento of Arbroath’s 19th century trade to the Baltic Ports, from the time when ship’s captains would be gifted items such as this punch bowl to mark their first trip through the Sound of Denmark.
photo of Elsinore Bowl
  • Fisher Souvenir China - Fisher families often collected china souvenirs when following the herring shoals around the coast of Britain, this set of 19th century pieces belonged to an Arbroath fisher family.
photo of Fisher Souvenir China
  • Witches Eye - A beautifully crafted blue glass ball from the time when such objects were collected by the fisher men and women. When hung in a window, objects like this were traditionally used to ward off evil spirits.
photo of Witches Eye

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