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Tannach, Thrumster, Chain Home Radar Station; Chain Home Low Radar Station

Military Camp (20th Century), Radar Station (20th Century)

Site Name Tannach, Thrumster, Chain Home Radar Station; Chain Home Low Radar Station

Classification Military Camp (20th Century), Radar Station (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Tannach Mains

Canmore ID 139010

Site Number ND34NW 36

NGR ND 32085 46768

NGR Description Centred ND 32085 46768

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Wick
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND34NW 36.00 centred 32085 46768

ND34NW 36.01 centred ND 32650 47956 Buildings; Engine House (remote reserve)

ND34NW 36.02 centred ND 3250 4534 Military Camp

ND34NW 36.03 ND 3162 4656 Gun-emplacement

ND 3190 4677 and ND 3207 4696. Chain Home Low and Chain Home radar stations with an accommodation camp, are situated to the SW of Tannach Mains farm. The transmitter/receiver blocks are at ND 3190 4677 and ND 3207 4662 (transmitter block only).

Information from Mr I Brown, November 1998

This Chain Home radar station is situated on the W side of the road between Gansclet and Haster at a point some 600m E of Tannach farmsteading. The radar station consists of several buildings, including the transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) blocks with the power house (set-house) and several smaller buildings survive to the W of the road.

J Guy 2000; NMRS MS 810.10, Vol.1, 26, Vol.3, 15-18

Transmitter and Receiver (Tx/Rx) blocks at ND 32085 46768 and ND 31927 46628 with a third building at ND 32071 46956

There is a group of brick built huts at ND 32247 47107, one of which appears to be a mess hall.

This radar station replaced a mobile unit at Thrumster and became operational July 1940 and it finally closed during November 1945 ( Information from I Brown Radar Archive).

Tannach radar station is visible on a RAF vertical air photopgraph (106G/Scot/UK74, 3321, flown 9 May 1946) which shows all elements of the site including the masts, Tx/Rx blocks and the barbed wire fence which surrounded the whole area.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE,SW), August 2000.

All that is now visible of the buildings of this military camp is a single standing structure and the concrete floors of four others, which are situated in a field of rough pasture about 420m NW of Thrumster Mains Cottage (ND 32834 45068). The survivng building (YARROWS04 504), which is now used as an agricultural store, is brick-built with a concrete floor and flat concrete roof. Rectangular on plan, it measures 12.8m from NE to SW by 3.65m transversely; there is an entrance in the SW end and another, which is blocked, in an outshot that is attached to the NE end. Scarring on the internal wall-faces shows that the interior once contained at least five partition walls.

The moss- and grass-grown concrete floors of four other rectangular buildings (YARROWS04 505-8), which measure up to 18m in length and 6m in breadth, are situated 75m SW of the surviving building.

Two oval, grass-grown mounds (YARROWS04 501 & 502), which are situated close to the NE side of the field, are probably piles of debris from demolished buildings. Each appears to be composed of sand containing fragments of concrete and brick. One mound measures 14m from NE to SW by 10m transversely and 0.5m in height, the other, which stands immediately to the S, measures 7.8m from NW to SE by 5.4m transversely and 0.3m in height.

Vertical aerial photographs taken on the 9th May 1946 (RAF 106/G/SCOT/UK.74, print 3322, 4320-1) shows at least thirty-two buildings in the complex.

(YARROWS04 501, 502, 504-508)

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, IF), 27 July 2004.


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