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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 784755

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NN80SW 23.01 centred 8381 0376

NN 836 036 Remains of concrete bunker, used for target practice. Ruined reinforced concrete wall, with facing ditch, apparently damaged by gunfire.

R Page 1997

A reinforced concrete mock-up of an anti-invasion Atlantic wall is situated within the Whitestone Range to the E of the public road across Sheriff Muir. The wall is 86m in length from NE to SW and stands to about 3m in height. Just over half of the length of the wall is 3m thick, stepping down to 0.7m at the SW end, where the wall curves round slightly to the W. The rear face of the wall is vertical for about half its height, battering inwards towards the top, which is flat. The front, or seaward side slopes outwards to create an overhang, with a small inward batter at the top along which there are iron pickets to carry barbed wire. The corrugations of the shuttering used in the construction of the wall are clearly visible, as are individual dumps of concrete. Some care has been taken in finishing off the surfaces where the initial dumping of concrete has left gaps. A tunnel, 0.6m wide, runs through the wall about half way along. The front face of the wall is extensively pitted by impacts from weapons of a variety of calibres revealing the 1/2 inch and 1 inch reinforcing rods, but the most spectacular damage is a 4m wide breach in the wall from which a spread of debris extends to a break of slope some 40m away.

The wall is fronted by a flat-bottomed anti-tank ditch, with an upcast bank on the NW or ?seaward? side. The ditch is some 3m across and about 0.6m in depth and while the SW end is coterminous with the end of the wall, at the NE end the ditch extends for about 4m beyond the wall. A trench running at right-angles to the SW end of the wall may have run up to an emplacement on the hillside to the ESE. A trench lying some 30m to the NW of the wall may have connected a network of trenches to the SSW (NN80SW 23.02) with a bunker (NN80SW 23.07) to the NNE of the wall. This bunker incorporates a Tobruk shelter consisting of a sunken chamber with two observation and firing holes in the roof. Initially developed by the Italian Army in North Africa, these were quickly adopted by the Afrika Korps and were used by the German Army as an integral part of many Atlantic Wall defences (Thomas 1995).

To the E of the bunker a large disturbed hollow full of ironwork extends as far as a largely grass-covered, concrete bunker, which may have been octagonal on plan (NN 8385 0376). Access may have been from a trench system on the SSE which extended up the N flank of Black Hill.

Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 27 November 1998

R J C Thomas 1995.

[Area centred NN 8379 0369]. Scheduled as Sheriff Muir, Whitestone Range, SW of Harperstone... visible as upstanding ruins, ditches and earthworks.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 19 November 2003.

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