MHG24616 - US Naval Communication Unit - Hill of Lybster, Caithness


A US Naval Communication Unit at Hill of Lybster, Caithness.

Type and Period (2)

  • TELECOMMUNICATION BUILDING (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • TRANSMITTER SITE (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A US Naval Communication Unit at Hill of Lybster, Caithness.

A photographic record was made of the remains of the former United States Naval Communications Base. At Lybster Hill. The extant structures amount to the transmitter building for the main mast (centred on ND 0230 6985) and concrete foundations and cable tracks. These structures are all that remains of the plethora of antenna arrays of differing geometries and phases of construction that once covered the site. The foundations are largely of two kinds, antenna bases and anchors for the associated wire stays that stabilised the antenna masts. The conflation of antenna arrays of different periods at a single locus makes it difficult if not impossible to reconcile a particular set of anchors with its associated set of mast bases. Several antenna configurations were encountered across the site. The steel main mast is thought to have been mounted on a single insulator the mast itself forming the antenna. The concrete mast base appears to have been completely copper clad, as was the internal surface of the associated building. Early phases of masts appear to have included single masts, linear arrays and right-angular arrays apparently oriented on cardinal geographical axes. These structures appear to have employed largely timber masts. These arrays were supplanted by later hexagonal arrays of six masts with a central cable junction; steel masts replacing timber. This type of array tended to be located around the periphery of the site. Each hexagonal antenna array had, at its centre, a rectangular area delineated by a timber fence inside which was a gravel area surrounding a central junction box. <1>

Photographs of the site were submitted by M Briscoe in 2012. <2>

Structures related to the communications unit were identified (though mis-interpreted as an anti-aircraft battery) in LiDAR data gathered by AOC Archaeology in 2011 as part of the mitigation for the visual impact on the archaeological landscape associated with the proposed Baillie Hill windfarm, Caithness. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 0194 6960 (1019m by 1108m) (3 map features)
Map sheet ND06NW
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.