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Prisoner Of War Camp (First World War)

Site Name Kinlochleven

Classification Prisoner Of War Camp (First World War)

Alternative Name(s) Kinlochleven, First World War Prisoner Of War Camp

Canmore ID 120445

Site Number NN26SW 13

NGR NN 2065 6070

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Kilmallie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire

World War One Audit of Surviving Remains (8 October 2013)

A First World War prisoner of war camp is listed under the name of Kinlochleven in the 1919 'List of Places of Internment' in Britain, its colonies and dominions. German soldiers, other than officers and senior NCOs, could be put to work that did not directly further the prosecution of the war. The camp at Kinlochleven is reported as being one of two (the other being at Caolasnacon) to house prisoners working on building the road along Loch Leven.

The huts would have been wooden, probably sourced from local forests, and not Nissen huts as a previous authority states.

Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 8 October 2013.

Archaeology Notes

NN26SW 13 2065 6070

The Prisoner-of-War Camp (NMRS MS 738/31, no.58) to the E of Kinlochleven, was visited in the course of a pre-afforestation survey by AOC (Scotland Ltd). The camp covers an area measuring over 300m by 100m and consists of numerous building footings. Two main types of structure are represented; concrete pillars for wooden pre-fabricated huts and concrete hard standings for Nissen huts. At least sixteen separate structures were identified in an area threatened by ploughing and many more lie within deciduous woodland.

C Burgess (AOC (Scotland Ltd)) March 1996; NMRS MS 738/31 no.58 (52b/8)

Field survey was carried over an area of 20sq km around the shores of Loch Leven during March 1996. The survey concentrated in an area between the village of Glen Coe (8km to the W of Kinlochleven) and the Blackwater dam (about 3km E of Kinlochleven) and examined all the ground between sea level and 300m that was not under existing forestry or woodland.

Monuments already recorded in this area were either related to the military road (NN16SE 2) or the building of the dam (NN26SW 3) that provides power to the Kinlochleven aluminium smelter. Some 82 monuments were recorded systematically for the first time. They fall into three clear groups: military monuments, industrial monuments and Early Historic/prehistoric monuments.

Within the area a variety of military monuments were recorded that appear mostly to relate to the protection and building of the smelter and dam. Sites included search light stations (NN16SE 38), fox holes (NN 1757 6170), and the substantive remains of a prisoner-of-war camp that was built to house a labour force for the smelter. This site (NN 2065 6070) consisted mainly of building footings and landscaping features that can be clearly seen in clearings within the woodland and birch scrub about 1000m to the E of Kinlochleven. At the E end of the survey area Wade's military road runs down into the village of Kinlochleven before continuing N out of the survey area. This feature survives as a metalled track outwith the urban development. Along the line of this feature a number of culverts and small drystone bridges were noted.

A full report has been placed in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

AOC (Scotland) Ltd 1996.


Project (March 2013 - September 2013)

A project to characterise the quantity and quality of the Scottish resource of known surviving remains of the First World War. Carried out in partnership between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS.


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