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Signal station, view from South South East.

SC 670064

Description Signal station, view from South South East.

Date 23/5/1997

Collection Records of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), Edinbu

Catalogue Number SC 670064

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of D 21585 CN

Scope and Content World War II signal station, Stanger Head, Flotta, Orkney Islands In World War II military activities in and around Scapa Flow generated a complex communications network of wireless, cabled and manual signals equipment associated with all three armed services. These ranged from traditional methods of intelligence-gathering, monitoring and signalling, as practised in World War I, to the sophisticated systems of detection and communication which developments in radio and radar offered. The Royal Navy possessed its own radar network (known as AES, Admiralty Experimental Stations) with at least one station in Orkney, on Ward Hill in South Ronaldsay, but its land-based communications operated mainly through a local group of Port War Signal Stations at Stromness (Ness Battery), Kirkwall (Rerwick Head), Lyness and here at Stanger Head on Flotta, where this range of brick buildings, grouped around a four-storeyed tower, replaced a World War I signal station which had stood on the western side of the island, centred upon an equally lofty but timber-built tower designed in the manner of a ship's superstructure, complete with bridge. This frontal view shows the main operations block of the signal station, centred around the four-storeyed observation or watch tower. Its main purpose was to receive and process information on all marine and aerial activity and to support the command and control of naval operations in and around the southern approaches to Scapa Flow. To this end, the topmost 'glasshouses' have unobstructed all-round visibility, originally also from a railed balcony, while the south-facing oriel window was probably associated with the commander's office. The cement-rendered brick and concrete construction of the tower contrasts with the exposed brickwork of the flanking ranges, where two stages or phases of building work are visible above the level of the window-sills. 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.


File Format (TIF) Tagged Image File Format bitmap

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