MHG57033 - WWI N.S.O.'s Store - Shore Road, Invergordon


The WWI N.S.O.'s store on Shore Road, Invergordon. Originally built as an extension to the C18 girnal, it was taken over by the Admiralty during WWI and was subsequently used as a warehouse.

Type and Period (2)

  • STOREHOUSE (19th Century to First World War - 1900 AD? to 1918 AD)
  • WAREHOUSE (In use, 20th Century - 1919 AD? to 1978 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The WWI N.S.O.'s store on Shore Road, Invergordon. Originally built as an extension to the C18 girnal (see MHG8769), it was taken over by the Admiralty during WWI and was subsequently used as a warehouse.

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. A large complex south of the High Street contained offices, a smithy and stores. The crow-stepped girnal from the early 18th century was engulfed by the time of the 2nd edition OS map (surveyed 1902) into a larger complex, with two railway lines coming into it, south of the girnal, and one continuing into the Bone Mill to the east. This suggests that by 1902 the girnal had been incorporated into a larger industrial building. On WWI plans in private possession the girnal part of the building is labelled as the 'C.C.'s Smithery'. It was separated by an alley from the E.E.'s workshop and drawing office to the north. Abutting the girnal on the north side was an E.E. Store and a semi-detached building containing an E.E. Store and an unlabelled function, and another unlabelled building, all probably small temporary buildings. To the south of the girnal was the N.S.O. Store, one of two in the dockyard workshop area. A WWI aerial photo shows that the southern part of the smithy and the store were contained in three bays oriented north-south, while the older girnal part of the smithy was oriented east-west. At the northern end of the central bay running north-south was a chimney. It is not clear how the two buildings joined, or how the Store related to the Smithy. The buildings are depicted on the 1930 aerial photo. A plan from WWII shows the girnal and area of the smithy labelled Highland Agricultural Company Store, and the N.S.O. Stores labelled Mill. According to the plan, this area was not part of the military area. The girnal still survives, but has been converted into housing. The rest of the smithy and the N.S.O. store to the south have been demolished, and replaced by new housing or the new road along the shore. An aerial photo from 1978 in the Invergordon Archive (no. 649) shows the store building, but one from the same year in the National Collection of Aerial Photography shows rubble where it had been. If the photographs are accurately dated, this suggests destruction in 1978. <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>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7096 6853 (36m by 51m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH76NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ROSSKEEN

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Related Investigations/Events (1)

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