MHG57035 - WWI building between Mill Street and Shore Street - Invergordon


A small WWI building between Mill Street and Shore Street in Invergordon.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A small WWI building between Mill Street and Shore Street in Invergordon.

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 between Mill Street and Shore 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 (this building), all probably small temporary buildings. The buildings, including this one, are shown 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 small building on the west of the alley is still depicted on the plan. On a 1947 aerial photograph it appears as a white, single-storey hut, with a shallow sloping roof. 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. On the 1978 aerial photo there appears to be a building to the northwest of the girnal, so its destruction may be after that time. The footprint of the small building, and its roof mark against the wall facing Shore Street are 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>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7094 6856 (12m by 6m) (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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