Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Bell Rock Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE BELL ROCK REEL (R8x40) 3C (4C set) James Crowe

1- 8 1s cross RH and cast 1 place, 1s turn RH 1½ times into prom hold facing 2L
9-16 1s set to 2L and set to 3L, 1M dances LH across with 2L+3L while 1L dances RH across with 2M+3M and 1s end facing 3M
17-24 1s set to 3M and set to 2M, Men dance LH across while Ladies dance RH across and 1s end facing 1st corners
25-32 1s dance ½ diagonal reel of 4 with 1st corners, pass LSh and dance ½ reel with 2nd corners 1s pass LSh to own sides 2nd places
33-40 1s dance diagonal R&L

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Bell Rock Reel - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The Bell Rock Lighthouse, off the coast of Angus, Scotland, is the world's oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse.

The bicentenary (200th anniversary) of the lighthouse was commemorated in July 2011 by RSCDS East Angus Branch with a trip to the rock where The Bell Rock Reel was performed a number of times to music played by the accordionist, Frank Thomson.

It was hoped that the dance could be performed on the Rock itself, however the tide was in and so they decided to dance on the boat instead.

The Bell Rock Lighthouse was built between 1807 and 1810 by Robert Stevenson on the Bell Rock (also known as the infamous Inchcape reef) in the North Sea, 11 miles (18 km) from Arbroath, east of the Firth of Tay.

The rock was the scene of many shipwrecks as it lies just below the surface of the sea for all but a few hours at low tide. At high water the Inchcape reef is hidden about 12 foot below the water level, at low water it is 4 foot above the sea.

Standing 35 metres (115 ft) tall, the masonry work on which the lighthouse rests was constructed to such a high standard that it has not been replaced or adapted in 200 years and the light from the Bell Rock Lighthouse is visible for over 30 miles (48 km).

According to legend, the rock is called Bell Rock because of a 14th-century attempt by the Abbot of Arbroath to install a warning bell on it. The bell lasted only one year before it was stolen by a Dutch pirate.

This story is immortalised in The Inchcape Rock - Poem by 19th-century poet Robert Southey.

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion;
Her keel was steady in the ocean.

Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

Bell Rock Lighthouse - Information Video

Bell Rock Lighthouse
Bell Rock Lighthouse

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Bell Rock Lighthouse article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Derek Robertson [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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