MHG35176 - Gun Emplacements - Coast Battery, Site No. 1, North Sutor


Gun emplacements associated with the First World War Site No. 1, 9.2 inch Battery.

Type and Period (2)

  • COASTAL BATTERY (First World War - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (First World War - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

The World War I open gun-emplacements are situated adjacent to the World War II coast batteries in covered emplacements. The two 9.2-inch guns were manned by the Royal Navy. <1>

Martin Briscoe has submitted photographs of this site to the Highland HER Flickr group. <1>

A coast battery comprising two emplacements for 9.2-inch guns, built by the admiralty to a designed influenced by the mounting and operation of a heavy gun on a Royal Navy ship. Plans of the battery on completion in 1913 (The National Archives WO 78/5192) show the arrangement of the battery. The guns faced SE, with a Gun Group Commander post situated mid way between the guns. The guns were numbered No. 1 and No. 2. The SW emplacement with crew shelter to its NE was numbered No.1 and the NW emplacement with its crew shelter to the SW was numbered No. 2. The two emplacements were mirror images of each other connected by a trench or sunken passageway. To the rear of the guns was the access down to the magazine, with steps and crane to lower ammunition. The plans show the arrangement of drainage and the voice pipes to carry orders from the Gun Group Commanders post to the guns. The guns were mounted on an egg-shape barbette sunk into the concrete. Around the guns towards the Moray Firth side was an apron of concrete. The shells and cordite were hoisted up from the magazine directly below, as it would be on a ship. There are no ready ammunition lockers around the emplacement, so when operational the shells and cordite were passed up directly into the gun as required. Each magazine lay below the gun emplacement, comprising two rooms and passageways with access via stairs to the rear. Originally some light was provided by windows to the shell store but these were later blocked up. Two doors entered the magazine, one into the shell store and one, via a lobby, into the magazine (cordite). The magazine did not have natural light and only light was provided by a electric safety lighting, enclosed behind glass in a recess in the wall beside a second doorway to a passageway between the shell store and the magazine, from which a further short passageway extended to the shaft containing the hoist to the gun. The Second World War 6-inch guns reused both magazines which were adapted with new access shafts for the hoists built. The windows and the doors to the shell room were sealed at this time. After the military left the site the camp site was bulldozed and much of the building rubble was pushed into the magazine access. Such is the depth of rubble that it also covered up the No.1 gun crew shelter and only the top of the Gun Group Commanders post can be seen. The top of the small crane that lowered ammunition and cordite down to the magazine is still in situ to the rear of No.1 gun.
Information from RCAHMS (AKKK) 29 July 2013. <3>

GIS spatial data copied from data supplied by AKK from the RCAHMS World War One Survey Project. <4>

The North Sutor camps, batteries and associated buildings and features were scheduled by Historic Environment Scotland with effect from 26/03/2019. <5>

For other installations associated with the First World War (Site No. 1) 9.2 inch battery site, see also MHG35177, MHG35179, MHG35183, MHG46670, MHG59897, MHG59148, MHG59175, MHG59142.

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 8197 6894 (63m by 71m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH86NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish NIGG

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Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

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External Links (3)

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