Sir John Ross (1777 – 1856), born near Stranraer, was a Scottish rear admiral and Arctic explorer. In 1786, aged only nine, he joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice. He served in the Mediterranean and the English Channel before, in 1808, he acted as a captain of the Swedish Navy and in 1812 became a Commander. Sir John was the uncle of Captain Sir James Clark Ross, who explored the Arctic with him, and later led expeditions to the south pole.

Horse Isle Beacon is a 52 foot tall stone beacon and stands at the south end of Horse Isle marking the island for shipping. Erected in 1811, it was commissioned by Hugh, 12th Earl of Eglinton on the suggestion of John Ross. The hazard the island continued to present to shipping is reflected in the number of ships that have been wrecked on the island including: Minerva (1821, brig); Morning Star (1871); Brigadier (tugboat, 1960).

Further Reading

Firth of Clyde ‘Horse Island’ at

Horse Island at