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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 801431

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/801431

ND29SE 2.00 29399 94456

ND29SE 2.01 ND 2961 9449 Buildings; Water Tanks

ND29SE 2.02 centred ND 2923 9430 Water tanks; Buildings

A large two storey brick and concrete building situated on the E-facing slope of Wee Fea. It measures about 42m by 16.5m overall and stands to approximately 14m in height on the SE side.

The walls are pierced by several openings including a series of eight oval vents or windows shaped like ships portholes. Two larger windows with shutters open from the SE elevation whilst another two oval 'portholes' can be seen on the NW. Several openings for pipes and cables are also visible on the building.

The roof is flat apart from a small brick and concrete extension part of which has viewing slits in the SW elevation. A metal signal lamp mounting survives on the SE side of the roof.

The interior has been cleared of all movable and most non-movable items, leaving a large second storey area, presumably the main signals room. A few wall fixings survive as do the wall marks of shelving and other items of non permanent furniture.

The building was the main Base HQ and Communications Centre for Scapa Flow under Naval Command and named HMS Proserpine. It became operational in 1943 and housed up to 230 Woman's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) staff to handle signals via telephone, teleprinter and radio including from ships moored at buoys in Scapa Flow. HMS Proserpine at Hoy was linked to 'Proserpine Thurso' the radio station at Bower, (ND26NE 28 and ND26SW 61.00) and the radar station near Cape Wrath, (Sango NC46NW 22.00).

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References