Time and Tide Bell on Bosta Beach, Great Bernera

Traigh Bhostadh, known as Bosta Beach in English, is a white shell beach located at the far end of the island of Great Bernera in the Outer Hebrides. Mounted on the far skerry (reef/rocky islet) is the Time and Tide Bell, part of a permanent exhibition by artist Marcus Vergette of 12 such bells in diverse sites around the UK.

The rise of the water at high tide moves the clapper to strike the bell. Played by the movement of the waves, the bell creates a varying, gentle, musical pattern. As the effects of global warming increase, the bell strikes will become more and more frequent and as the bell becomes submerged in the rising water the pitch will vary. This unique creation also serves for data recording.

The idea of the Time and Tide Bells is to create, celebrate, and reinforce connections, between different parts of the country, between the land and the sea, between ourselves, our history, and our environment.

Although the physical structure of each bell is the same, each bell is unique to its own site and each site brings something particular and unique to the whole group. Each bell also has its own unique inscription, chosen by the community. The bell at Bosta Beach was the second to be installed on the 19th of June 2010.

This site was chosen as the land in the Outer Hebrides is amongst the oldest on earth and has been resisting the ravages of the sea for 300 to 400 million years, since before the fossil records. Bosta beach has been a point of arrival for many different groups of people from the Iron Age to the Vikings.

The Bosta Beach bell’s clapper was originally somewhat larger, however the Atlantic weather caused it to fall and it was then replaced by the smaller one that can be heard today. The original clapper is on display at the Local History Society exhibition in the Village Hall at Breacleit.


Bosta Bell Inscription

Gun mhuthadh gun truas
A’ sluaisreadh gainneim h na tràgh’d
An àtaireachd bhuan
Cluinn fuaim na h-àtairreachd àrd.
Mo leabaidh dean suas
Ri fuaim na h-àtaireachd àrd.


Without change, without pity
Breaking on the sand of the beach
The ceaseless surge
Listen to the high surge of the sea
Make my resting place be
By the sound of the surge of the sea


1 week camper van road-trip with Hebridean Campervan Holidays


  • Information provided by the Local History Society
  • http://www.timeandtidebell.co.uk
  • http://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/traigh-bhostadh-bosta-beach-p523671

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Time and Tide Bell on Bosta Beach, Great Bernera

by Uncover Travel time to read: 2 min
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