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Hoy, Walls, Lyness, Royal Naval Oil Terminal, Pier

Pier (20th Century)

Site Name Hoy, Walls, Lyness, Royal Naval Oil Terminal, Pier

Classification Pier (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Golden Pier; Scapa Flow; Lyness Pier

Canmore ID 140878

Site Number ND39SW 20.05

NGR ND 31355 94640

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Walls And Flotta
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

ND39SW 20.05 centred 3135 9463

A World War II concrete pier now rebuilt for modern ro-ro ferries.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE, GS, SW), August 1997


Field Visit (August 1997)

Lyness served as the centre for naval operations throughout WWI & II. The sheltered harbour offered an ideal location for refuelling and maintaining the fleet. The extensive remains of a wide range of structures associated with the base include:

(i) A boiler, a building, oil tanks, a military camp and a pillbox (ND 39 SW 20.01 -20.05).

(ii) Lyness steam pumping station and oil tank: Scheduled (HS Index 5438, 07ND 309 947- 07ND 310 947). The steam pumps were used to drive fuel oil into storage tanks. Originally coal-powered, they were converted to oil-firing in 1936. They now form a display within the Lyness Interpretation Centre. The oil tank, built in 1917, has a capacity of 12,000 tons and is the last survivor of four such tanks originally housed here.

(iii) A hand crane and pier (ND39SW 17)

Moore and Wilson, 1997

Coastal Zone Assessment Survey

Geophysical Survey (April 2010 - May 2010)

ND 3135 9468 A geophysical survey was carried out across

the areas of Golden Wharf and Lyness Wharf in April–May

2010 prior to development. The work consisted of a c4ha

gradiometer survey, which aimed to identify services and

potentially unexploded ordnance and a GPR survey of a

further 1.3ha, which aimed to locate further services and

any voids.

The gradiometer survey identified a number of anomalies

thought to relate to services. Other more discrete anomalies

may be indicative of the presence of large ferrous objects,

ground disturbance or structures. A number of anomalies

were in proximity to buildings and may represent ‘ferrous

spread’ from these structures. Further ferrous noise visible

across the site reflected the material used to make up the

ground in this area, together with the subsequent uses

of the wharf and surrounding area. Some of the strong

ferrous anomalies identified could relate to the position of

ordnance. However, it is impossible to differentiate between

the response given by these and that given by other large

ferrous objects. The GPR survey showed a number of

interesting anomalies, but the data were dominated by high

amplitude responses reflecting the various materials used

and construction methods employed over different parts of

the site.

Archive: ORCA Geophysics

Funder: Orkney Islands Council


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