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The Bell Rock Tavern

Visit Tayport’s traditional harbourside Indo-Scottish Restaurant with a history dating back to late 1876

Visit Tayport’s Traditional Harbourside Indo-Scottish Restaurant

Overlooking the stunning views of the River Tay, one of the oldest restaurants in fife is centrally located in the harbour town of Tayport.

The Bell Rock Tavern is just a ten-minute drive from some of Dundee’s most popular cultural attractions as well as the city’s high-street for any keen shoppers. From the RRS Discovery to the Caird Hall to the V&A Museum, you won’t be far from the action when you visit the Bell Rock Tavern.

The History of the Bell Rock Tavern

“The Bell Rock Tavern” is named after the Bell Rock Lighthouse. First lit in 1811 & built by Scottish Engineer Robert Stevenson.

The rock on which it is built  is called “The Bell Rock” because of a 14th century attempt by the Abbot from Arbroath install a warning bell on it.

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.

According to legend, the bell lasted only one year before it was removed by a Dutch pirate. A more plausible explanation has it that it simply washed away.

“The Bell Rock Tavern” or simply “The Bell” has stood on the same spot, on Dalgleish Street, in the Heart of the Community since 1887. A Tayport directory of the time lists it as a “Spirit Dealer” (pre naming of the establishment to Bell Rock)

The original entrance  to the Public Bar was on the side of the building (now the Fire Exit, beneath the Lighthouse Mural) and the Bar Area (where the fireplace is now, at the bottom of the stairs) extended no further than the stairs. The original bar itself being on the wall to the left, where the Restrooms are now situated.

In the early 1970’s the Bar was extended by knocking through to the house next door & the Bar itself was moved up to the top corner where it remains. The Lounge Upstairs (now restaurant) once housed rooms to let.

The entrance customers pass through today was originally the doorway to the house next door.

The exterior has remained largely unchanged with the exception of the signage & artwork. Prior to the Lighthouse Mural, a painting of a Bell could be seen above the entrance. The earliest version of the familiar semi circular mural, an advert for “Ushers Pale Ale” appeared in around 1930. The painting has been retouched & repainted entirely several times over the years. The hand painted signage has had the Bell change from Bar to Tavern, reflecting the tastes of the time.

A traditional home away from home located opposite Tayport harbour upon the maginficent River Tay estuary