MHG7529 - WW2 Battery, Cove


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Type and Period (1)

  • BATTERY (Built, Second World War - 1941 AD to 1941 AD)

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Full Description

See also Redfern, "20th Century fortifications in the UK" vol IV.
A M Fox, Highland Council, 12.12.01.

This coast battery is situated at Rubha nan Sasan, at the end of a track from Cove. The battery observation post, two gun-emplacements, two searchlight emplacements, engine rooms, magazine are all extant. In an area some 100m to the SW are many hut bases which formed the accommodation camp for those serving at the battery. The battery was armed with 2 x 6-inch MkVII guns on Naval mountings from HMS Iron Duke which were installed in July 1941. The battery was placed on care and maintainance in April 1945. It has been suggested that the gun barrels from the mountings were rolled into the sea, but there is no evidence for them now.
Photos in J A Guy, 20th Century Defences. <1>
A M Fox, Highland Council, 09.10.01.

The extensive remains of a Second World War emergency coast battery, built in 1941. Surviving structural elements include two gun houses in each of which a 6" Mark 7 (naval) gun would have been mounted, two searchlight emplacements, a battery observation post, engine houses or generating rooms, magazines and two emplacements for (possibly 20mm Oerlikon) anti-aircraft guns. The remains of other unidentified buildings can also be seen, while evidence of accommodation blocks survives in the form of concrete floors to the S and W, mainly outwith the area proposed for scheduling. The battery was hastily erected at a time when there was a perceived threat of German attack on the British coast and, for this reason, is known as an emergency battery. The battery, as well as protecting the Loch Ewe anchorage, provided covering fire for an examination vessel which checked the credentials of all ships entering the anchorage. From January to September 1942 the site was manned by 308 Independent Coast Battery (Royal Artillery) and from September 1942 until April 1944 by 154 Independent Battery, after which date it was placed on a care and maintenance basis. There is no record of the battery ever firing in anger.
Information from Historic Scotland, June 1992.

The coast battery is spread over the headland at Rubha nan Sasan, which is split by Geodh Mor. Most of the remaining upstanding structures are constructed of brick and concrete and are now situated within a new fence which has recently been erected to deter visitors encroaching on to the site.
The two gun-emplacements have steel reinforcing made by Dorman, Long and Cold of Middlesborough and the 'bolt ring' for the gun mounting is visible in both. The steelwork at the front is supported by 'ACRO' supports and is now believed to be in a dangerous condition. There are various compartments and ready-use ammunition lockers to the rear of both emplacements.
The Battery Observation Post (NG89SW 4.02; NG 81496 92101), which has a single compartment to the rear is also supported on brick pillars and a central brick pedestal suggesting it is in an unstable condition.
An unrotating projectile (UP) mounting or light anti-aircraft position was noted at NG 81492 91919 .
The coast battery is visible on RAF vertical air photographs (CPE/Scot/UK182, 1343-1344, flown 8 October 1946) and they show that all of the hutted accommodation camp had been removed by this date. At least ten hut bases were noted on the date of visit, but the bases of 27 can be seen on the air photographs.
No evidence was found of the light anti-aircraft gun-emplacement recorded in the Public Record Office (PRO) at this location (WO 166/7309) and it is not visible on the air photographs.
Visited by RCAHMS (DE, GS, JG), August 2000

The site was visited and photographed by A Puls of Highland Council in October 2012 as part of a high level assessment of Second World War sites associated with the Loch Ewe Arctic Convoys. Sites visited were confined to significant features and remains located between Poolewe and Cove. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 8148 9203 (317m by 308m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG89SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

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