MHG57026 - WWI C.E.'s Smithy - Invergordon dockyard


A WWI C.E.'s smithy in Invergordon dockyard.

Type and Period (1)

  • SMITHY (First World War - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A WWI C.E.'s Smithy in Invergordon dockyard.

The site was investigated in 2015 as part of the ARCH project 'Invergordon in World War I'. The Dockyard workshops to the south of High Street comprised a number of specialist workshops, some quite large. Plans from WWI and WWII in private collection allow functions to be assigned in some cases. On the 2nd edition OS map (surveyed 1902) this area is part of the Bone Works, but there is no building on this site. During WWI between the Bone Mill and the Munro Street there was a complex with the laundry on the High Street, then a coppersmith's shop and air bottle shop, and to the south of them the 'C.E.'s Smithery'. South of the smithy there was a railway line leading into the C.E. Fitting shop to the east. Below the railway was a large Boiler Shop. An aerial photo from 1930 shows that the smithy was two bays oriented east-west. The Boiler Shop was 3 storeys with two bays oriented north-south and possibly brick. It is the tallest surviving building in the workshop complex. The Smithy and Boiler Shop were still there in WWII, although the smithy is not part of the M.O.D. area. By 1978 the Smithy buildings have gone. Currently the site is derelict, with concrete bases still visible. <1>

At least three versions of a WWI Naval plan survive, two in private collection which probably date to wartime, and one in the National Archives (MPI 1/641/4) which dates to 1921. On all three the buildings taken over or built by the Navy are shaded, but there are a few discrepancies between the plans. One of the plans in private collection has enlarged details, but only shows the Admiralty buildings and not others in the town. Valuation Rolls also indicate some buildings not shaded on our plans were taken over by the military. It is clear from contemporary photographs that the army built additional buildings, particularly north of Cromlet Drive. <2>

Note: the reference to the building being absent on the OS 2nd Edition map in <1> is incorrect. While this area to the immediate east of the Bone Mill is free of buildings on the OS 1st Edition map the building as taken over by the Admiralty during WWI is there by the OS 2nd Edition [IS-L 10/02/2016].

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7106 6858 (26m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH76NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ROSSKEEN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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