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Aberdeen, Tullos Hill

Anti Aircraft Battery (20th Century), Military Camp (20th Century), Prisoner Of War Camp (20th Century)

Site Name Aberdeen, Tullos Hill

Classification Anti Aircraft Battery (20th Century), Military Camp (20th Century), Prisoner Of War Camp (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Ab2; Peterseat Prisoner Of War Camp

Canmore ID 119951

Site Number NJ90SE 20

NGR NJ 9565 0339

NGR Description Centred NJ 9565 0339

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Nigg (City Of Aberdeen)
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Kincardineshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90SE 20 centred 9565 0339

A heavy anti-aircraft battery is situated some 300m SW of the summit of Tullos Hill. The position consisted of a full battery of eight gun-emplacements, five in the same field as the present Peterseat Cottage (NJ 9572 0341) and three in the field to the NE. The command position was central to the group of five emplacements and the accommodation camp was situated on both sides of a field boundary 150m to the NW. The remains of the battery are visible on aerial photograph (RAF 106G/Scot/UK 131, 4003, flown 1946).

Information from RCAHMS (DE) August 1997

In the course of a general reconnaissance in advance of a prospective archaeological field survey of uncultivated or forest ground in the Aberdeen area, the following upstanding sites are among those which have been reported to the Aberdeen SMR for inclusion therein. Site reports will be lodged with both Aberdeen SMR and the NMRS. Other features include various boundary stones and milestones; railway station platforms and other railway features; clearance cairns; and air-raid shelters.

NJ 9559 0354 Concrete hut base, 10 x 5m.

NJ 9540 0336 Concrete hut bases (2).

D I Harding 1997.

NJ 956 034 An assessment took place in January 2001 of a large area adjacent to Bronze Age Cat Cairn and Baron's Cairn on Tullos Hill (NMRS NJ90SE 20). This area was known to have been the site of one of the WW2 anti-artillery batteries which was later converted into a prisoner-of-war camp. Excavation revealed gun emplacements, the floor of the command post, and large rubbish pits. Memories of battery staff and a former prisoner-of-war have been collected, as well as photographs and letters. A small number of flints were found in the topsoil.

Report to be lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Forbes Homes.

A Cameron 2001c.

Most of the remains of this anti-aircraft battery and its camp have been removed, but several concrete platforms indicating the positions of buildings or huts can be seen in the uncultivated ground between Cat Cairn (NJ90SE 5) and Baron's Cairn (NJ90SE 6). Most of the installations lay to the SE of the spine of Tullos Hill, but this was under arable cultivation until recently, and now lies within an industrial estate.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS), 26 August 2002.

The heavy anti-aircraft battery was provided with a radar guidance installation (GL MkII) and this is visible on the 1946 vertical air photographs (ibid) as an octagonal area with a central concrete platform and ramp. The photographs also show that by this date the guns had been removed.

The battery was designated AB2 by the war office and Public Record Office (PRO) documents show that only four guns were operational in 1942, but by 1943 it had been supplied with an additional four 3.7-inch calibre guns. All guns were static. The battery had been disarmed by December 1945. (AAC/40265/G/Ops; 6AAG/S/2002/7/2/H[Ops]; 8AAG/S4/1/G/98).

Information from RCAHMS (DE), June 2006


Watching Brief (1 May 2009 - 30 November 2009)

NJ 9559 0355 (centred on) The closure of the landfill site at Ness Farm and Tullos Hill required a programme of groundwork operations across several phases to ensure a safe closure. Phase I was undertaken between May and October 2009, and as the area is rich in archaeological features an archaeological monitoring scheme was operated on groundworks in areas beyond the boundaries of the known landfill excavations.

The monitoring encountered a total of 57 features, two of probable modern origin, three of probable landfill origin (1960s or 70s), 36 of which dated to the mid 20th century, 15 of post-medieval origin, and one unknown and probably natural feature. The 36 mid-20th-century features largely related to the known site of a WW2 Ack Ack Battery, later converted into a POW camp. This is known from personal accounts, OS mapping and aerial photography, as well as excavations on the adjacent site (Peterseat, DES 2001, 7). The closure works provided a rare opportunity to record this area, with known features surviving, and some previously unrecorded hut bases. In addition, many of the drainage and service features survived sub-surface. Where excavations were deep, up to 3m below the present ground surface, features relating to the Battery and Camp still survived, showing that the site was on a slope, and that despite more recent landfill operations, a strategic destruction and removal of the camp never occurred on this part of the site. Small features such as intact bolts and internal drain features were revealed.

The post-medieval features largely related to both known and newly discovered remains, and varied from known dry stone dykes to sub-surface field drains and plough marks, showing agricultural use and improvement of this outlying area. A small number of flint finds was also recovered during the operations, and may relate to known prehistoric use of the area, already signified by the number of cairns on the hill; these have remained unaltered by the closure works and have been fenced.

Archive: Aberdeen City Council

Funder: Aberdeen City Council

Cat Peters - Aberdeen City Council Archaeological Unit

Archaeological Evaluation (3 February 2011 - 5 February 2011)

NJ 95684 03395 A 10% evaluation on plots 15 and 16 on a 2ha development site was carried out 3–5 February 2011. Previous work had revealed that the foundations of an anti-aircraft battery (used as a German POW camp from 1945–48) survived in this area. The evaluation uncovered two further gun emplacements, including one with associated ordnance store and electricity supply.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: Forbes Homes

Cameron Archaeology 2011

Information also reported in Oasis (camerona1-97761) 22 September 2011


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