Bishop Rock (Cornish: Men an Eskob) is a small rock at the westernmost tip of the Isles of Scilly ( [show location on an interactive map] 49°52′24″N 06°26′41″W / 49.87333, -6.44472), known for its lighthouse, and listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest island with a building on it in the world.
Containing room for nothing more than the uninhabited 45 metre tall lighthouse, the rock acts as the barrier between Great Britain and the Atlantic Ocean. The original lighthouse was begun in 1847, but was washed away before it could be completed. The present building was completed in 1858 and was first lit on 1 September of that year.
Bishop Rock is also the eastern end of the North Atlantic shipping route used by ocean liners in the first half of the 20th century, the western end being the entrance to Lower New York Bay. The ship with the fastest time (in either direction) between a line of longitude running through Bishop Rock and the end point at the approach to New York Harbor (first Sandy Hook, New Jersey and later Ambrose Light) claimed the "Blue Riband" for the fastest crossing. (more)