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South Sutor, Xdo Post

Building (Second World War)

Site Name South Sutor, Xdo Post

Classification Building (Second World War)

Alternative Name(s) Cromarty Defences; Submarine Minefield Control Position; Extended Defence Officer's Post

Canmore ID 173677

Site Number NH86NW 11.22

NGR NH 80702 67229

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 11.22 80702 67229

Previously recorded as NH86NW 16.00

NH86NW 11.23 NH 8091 6707 Observation post

This building is situated on the footpath below the track that runs from South Sutor coast battery (NH86NW 11.00) to Cromarty.

A small concrete building with lookout slits and steel shutters it was the extended Defence Officer's (XDO) post which would have controlled the submarine minefield in the Cromarty Firth.

J Guy 2000; NMRS MS 810/10, Vol.2, 89, Vol.3, 59


Note (25 July 2013)

Bearing a similarity with a pillbox, the heavily built and protected XDO post overlooked the submarine minefield protecting the entrance of the Cromarty Firth. From this position the officer would determine if the controlled minefield could be electrically fired. Cables are still visible entering the post.

Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 25 July 2013.

Field Visit (20 February 2020)

This building, which is situated 240m NW of the Fire Command Post (NH86NW 11.1) and 7m S of the footpath leading to Cromarty, formed part of the infrastructure introduced to the Cromarty defences by the Army during the Second World War. It is terraced into the steep N-facing slope and comprises a small lobby at its SW corner that provides access to a larger compartment. The building is approached from the path below by a flight of seven steps leading up towards an entrance porch that retains its sheet metal door. Inside, the lobby measures 1.37m from NE to SW by 1.16m transversely within reinforced cast concrete walls 0.41m thick and 1.97m high; and this shares a flat roof with the rest of the building. The main compartment measures 2.76m square within reinforced cast concrete walls 0.46m in thickness and 1.97m in height. There is a single, narrow, rectangular gun-loop in the E and W elevations. Both loops were originally provided with dropdown sheet metal shutters, but only that on the W side remains. By contrast, a broader observation window accompanies a loop in the N elevation and both retain their metal shutters. Few internal features survive, but there are short cable ducts in the concrete floor adjacent to the N wall and the NE corner of the main compartment, while wooden plugs for boards carrying electrical equipment are present on all of the walls except that on the W. A green colour wash applied to the walls has been over-painted recently with graffiti, while the sides of the gun-loops preserve traces of whitewash.

The building is annotated ‘Mine Control’ on a plan of the batteries in the Fort Record Book held in the National Archives at Kew (WO78/5912). It is clearly visible on an RAF aerial photograph (SCOT 106G-RAF-0751-6036) flown on 31 August 1945.

Visited by HES, Survey and Recording (ATW, AKK), 20 February 2020.


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