MHG62195 - WWII Commando training camp - Achnacarry House


Site of the WWII Commando training camp at Achnacarry House.

Type and Period (1)

  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (Second World War - 1940 AD to 1945 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Site of the WWII Commando training camp at Achnacarry House.

Achanacarry House and policies are situated on the S bank of the River Arkaig between Loch Lochy and Loch Arkaig. The House was requisitoned in 1940 for use as the headquarters for Commando training. Initially an adjunct to the Lochailort (NM78SE 15) school of training, from 1942 became the main centre for the training of Commandos. Nissen huts were erected on the front lawn and a small ready made parade ground created. The House was used as the Headquarters building and accommodated officers' mess and staff whilst the huts provided sleeping quarters for other ranks. Throughout the estate various training aids were built including a rope bridge across the River Arkaig. To the W of the house were the shooting and grenade ranges along with several imitation buildings to train the soldiers in street fighting. The house and hutted camp are visible on vertical air photographs taken in 1946 (CPE/UK/Scot/177, frames 1271-1273, flown 7 October 1946), which show at least 52 huts, mainly of the Nissen type to the S and SE of the House with a another small group of four to the rear.
Information from RCAHMS (DE), April 2008; S Allan 2007

An archaeological evaluation and building survey of a WWll-era shooting butt was carried out on in May 2014 by RoCAS on behalf of the Lochaber Archaeological Society in the grounds of Achnacarry Castle, Achnacarry, Spean Bridge. The work was carried out as part of a project designed to highlight the pivotal role that Achnacarry Estate and other parts of Lochaber played in the wartime training of 25,000 elite troops. The purpose of the archaeological evaluation was to assess one of a pair of shooting butts which, during wartime training, had contained targets used for shooting practice. The stratigraphy of the trench allowed conclusions to be drawn about the phases of use. Numerous and various bullets were recovered during excavation. The building survey was carried out to record the location and extent of what was thought to be a former guard room. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NN 1770 8789 (548m by 381m)
Map sheet NN18NE
Civil Parish KILMALLIE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.