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Detail of sluice mechanism outside N tunnel entrance.

C 66973

Description Detail of sluice mechanism outside N tunnel entrance.

Date 30/5/1996

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number C 66973

Category Photographs and Off-line Digital Images

Copies SC 654586

Scope and Content Water tank sluices, World War II underground oil tanks, World War I and II Naval Base, Lyness, Hoy, Orkney Islands At Lyness on Hoy, close to the sounds which made up the main fleet anchorage, naval quarters, stores and an oil depot were established during World War I and were considerably developed in World War II to become the Base Headquarters, HMS Proserpine. The base came to include an extensive area for the repair of anti-submarine boom nets, 16 above-ground oil storage tanks and, beneath the nearby hill of Wee Fea, six very large underground fuel tanks which were capable of storing some 100,000 tons of oil. In 1937 the contract for building the underground tanks went to Sir William Arrol & Co Ltd and work continued through to 1943 when the project was aborted. The tanks were arranged in parallel under the hill with access tunnels on the northern and southern flanks, some 0.975km apart. Both the inlet and outlet pipes passed through the north tunnel, the south tunnel being used principally for maintenance. An additional pumping station, designed and built by Arrols in 1937, was necessary in order to pump the oil up to the tanks which were laid at an altitude of about 90m and 1.86km west of the original pump house which stands close to sea level at Lyness. This is a view of the concrete-lined hatch and sluices which connected with the water tanks situated outside the north entrance to the underground oil tanks under Wee Fea. The sluices controlled the water from the tanks which were apparently intended to serve as emergency reservoirs for fire-fighting purposes. At the heart of the Orkney archipelago, Scapa Flow was the main fleet anchorage for the Royal Navy during both World Wars. Its vital importance led to the creation of one of the most concentrated defence networks in Britain. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


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