Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Essential maintenance

HES is currently undertaking essential maintenance on our web services. This will limit access to services in the following ways:

- Subscription access for HES online services will be unavailable (Scran, NCAP)

 - Image purchasing options will be limited (Canmore, Britain from Above, Scran, NCAP)

 - Any enhanced services which require a log in will be unavailable (My Canmore, Britain from Above contributions, Scran contribute)

 General access to these services will all continue. Enquiries will still be able to be submitted.

 We anticipate services to be restored from Monday 1st February 2021.


View of S tunnel entrance portal and vent from S.

D 3160 CN

Description View of S tunnel entrance portal and vent from S.

Date 30/5/1996

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number D 3160 CN

Category Photographs and Off-line Digital Images

Copies SC 654595

Scope and Content South entrance, 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 some 1.86km west of the original pump house which stands close to sea level at Lyness. This view shows the southern or 'rear' entrance to the six underground tanks. Behind the gate, the arched portal leads into an access tunnel of vaulted concrete construction which was used principally for maintenance purposes. There is a ventilation shaft above the left-hand embankment. 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.

Medium Colour negative


People and Organisations


Attribution & Licence Summary

Attribution: © Crown Copyright: HES

Licence Type: Full

You may: copy, display, store and make derivative works [eg documents] solely for licensed personal use at home or solely for licensed educational institution use by staff and students on a secure intranet.

Under these conditions: Display Attribution, No Commercial Use or Sale, No Public Distribution [eg by hand, email, web]

Full Terms & Conditions and Licence details

MyCanmore Text Contributions