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South Sutor, Coast Battery, Gun-emplacements

Coastal Battery (Second World War), Gun Emplacement(S) (Second World War)

Site Name South Sutor, Coast Battery, Gun-emplacements

Classification Coastal Battery (Second World War), Gun Emplacement(S) (Second World War)

Alternative Name(s) Cromarty Defences; Fort South Sutor

Canmore ID 170774

Site Number NH86NW 11.05

NGR NH 81034 66900

NGR Description NH 81034 66900 and NH 81052 66975

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Cromarty
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NH86NW 11.05 81034 66900 and 81052 66975

World War II gun-emplacements for 6-inch guns.

The World War II coast battery is situated on private land behind a fence. Probably the most complete battery in Scotland, was armed with 2 x 6-inch MkVII guns on CPII mountings in November 1939. The battery was placed on a care and maintenance basis in April 1945 and the guns were removed in 1956.

J Guy 2000; NMRS MS 810/10, Vol.2, 88; Public Record Office reference no. WO 192 247/248

The two brick and concrete WW II gun-emplacements are of slightly differing design. The S emplacement shows evidence of phasing in the construction whilst the N emplacement would appear to be of one build.

Steel re-inforcing has been used throughout. The gun pits on both emplacements were measured as having a diameter of about 3.80m.

Both gun-emplacements are visible on RAF vertical air photographs (106G/UK/751, 6035-6037, flown 31 August 1945).

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


Note (23 July 2013)

Two gun houses, each with a magazine and crew shelters. The north gun house (no. 2 gun) adapted and used the First World War magazine and lies immediately to the N of the First World War 9.2-inch emplacement. A new shaft for a hoist was made in the N wall of the magazine allowing direct access into the new gun house. The doorway and windows providing light into the shell store may have been blocked at this time. The arrangement within the magazine may have been changed but there is currently no safe access to check. The original hoist shaft became an emergency exit with a covered hatch.

In front of the gun pit the concrete apron has small boulders placed into it for camouflage and similarly on the part of the roof. A crew shelter, officer's room and gun store lie attached to the N side of the gun house. When operational the rear of the gun houses was covered in camouflage netting. The access road to the rear was painted with a camouflage pattern as visible of a vertical aerial photograph (106G/UK/751, 6035-6037, flown 31 August 1945).

The south gun house (No. 1 gun) was a completely new build. The arrangement is similar to the N gun house, however the magazine was of an improved designed and identical to that at the Ness Battery in Orkney (see HY20NW 27). The access to the magazine was by a flight of stairs. Shells and cordite were delivered down into the magazine using a small crane, still in situ, above the bottom of the stairs. A L-shaped passageway runs to the steel doors of the magazine. At right angles to and on either side of the steel entrance doorways is a low narrow passageway which extends around the outside of the magazine. This feature allowed any blast wave for an external explosion to safely disperse. The magazine contained two rooms parallel to each other, with the hoist in what was the shell room in the NW corner which lead up to the SW corner of the gun house. Finally an emergency exit was provided in the W wall which leads to a covered hatch to the SW of the gun house.

Attached to the N side of the gun house was the crew shelter and officers room.

The battery, according to the Fort Record Book (The National Archives WO 192/248) was constructed during 1939 and the guns were operational on the 11th November 1939.

Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 23 July 2013.


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