MHG57041 - C19 Storehouse and WWI S.C.E.'s Shops & Stores - Oakes Villa, Invergordon


A C19 storehouse in Invergordon taken over by the Admiralty in WWI and used as the S.C.E's shops and stores.

Type and Period (3)

  • STOREHOUSE (19th Century to 20th Century - 1875 AD? to 1921 AD)
  • ABATTOIR (Earlier than, 19th Century to Unknown - 1829 AD)
  • HEMP MILL (Earlier than, 19th Century to Unknown - 1829 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A C19 storehouse in Invergordon taken over by the Admiralty in WWI and used as the S.C.E's shops and stores.

The site was investigated in 2015 as part of the ARCH project 'Invergordon in World War I'. At the bottom of Robertson's Lane was the Oakes Villa Stores complex. The main east-west building is shown on the 2nd edition OS map (surveyed 1902) with an addition facing south. On WWI Naval plans in private possession there is also an addition going north, and two smaller parallel building closer to the shore. The main building is labelled S.C.E.'s (Superintending Civil Engineer's) Shops and Stores, while the buildings to the south are labelled S.C.E.'s Offices. There was a railway siding leading directly to the offices, and a line below the offices which continued along the coast. Valuation Rolls show that during WWI the stores were owned by A.W. Brook, corn merchant, but taken over the by Admiralty, and remained in military use until 1920-1921. By 1930 only the main east-west oriented building remained, together with a small leanto building on the east. The railway lines no longer continued this far. The main east-west building still survives, though has been altered when converted into housing. <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>

The building is mentioned in an advert for the auction of land and buildings in Invergordon by Charles Denham, of London hemp manufacturer, in the Edinburgh Evening Courant newspaper of the 15th of October 1829. The building itself is mentioned as being 'recently erected' and connected with his business. However, the advert also states that the building was purposely erected and well fitted for the slaughtering and curing of pork so it may have been partitioned for the running of both of his businesses. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 7128 6858 (46m by 22m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH76NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ROSSKEEN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (4)

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