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Barochan Hill

Anti Aircraft Battery (Second World War)(Possible)

Site Name Barochan Hill

Classification Anti Aircraft Battery (Second World War)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Bishopton 8

Canmore ID 206087

Site Number NS46NW 62

NGR NS 4132 6906

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/206087

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Houston
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS46NW 62 4132 6906

Situated on the top of Barochan Hill and lying to the west side of a wood are the remains of a World War II installation. The installation has four elements of which the major part is a rectangular brick built building with two compartments measuring 19.5m by 6.4m. Three circular or elliptical banked structures lie to the N and NW measuring between 7m and 9m across all badly damaged by cattle.

The building or hut is probably the accommodation for crew manning the installation whilst the other three structures are possible emplacements of some sort, most likely for searchlights, though local sources have suggested that light AA Bofors guns may have been been installed here. The site probably forms part of the defences for the Bishopton, Royal Ordnance Factory.

Information from Defence of Britain Project recording form, Mr J Macdonald, 1994

Activities

Field Visit (2 November 2018)

Three small earthworks and the vestiges of one building are all that remain of a World War Two light anti-aircraft battery, which is visible on an RAF air photograph (106G/UK/1317/7054) flown on 27 March 1946 and also noted in a document held by the National Archives at Kew (WO 166 7369).

The three earthworks are situated in improved pasture on the S side of the summit of Barochan Hill. Two are roughly oval on plan and one at least must have protected the gun, while the other might possibly have protected the Predictor. The more northerly of this pair (NS 41293 69063) measures 7.7m from NW to SE by 6.3m transversely over grass-grown earthen banks up to 2m thick and 0.35m high. There is an entrance on the N. The more southerly (NS 41300 69052), situated 7m SE, measures 8m from ENE to WSW by 4.5m transversely over grass-grown banks 2.3m thick and 0.5m high. The entrance may have been on the SE. The third earthwork (NS 41315 69068) is situated immediately SW of the thorn hedge fringing the mixed plantation on the hill’s summit. It also appears to have been oval on plan, but only its SW half survives. This measures 6.5m from NW to SE by 4.5m transversely over grass-grown banks 2m thick and 0.25m high. The building (NS 41327 69050) is situated about 10m SE of this poorly preserved earthwork and 2m SW of the thorn hedge. It is rectangular on plan, measuring 19m from NE to SW by 6m transversely and is divided into two equal compartments. The NW compartment is defined by brick walls 0.3m thick and 0.15m high, with a threshold at its S corner marking the position of an entrance. The SE compartment is distinguished by a concrete platform supported on a brick plinth up to 0.45m high. There is a threshold at its S corner, but this is now partly overlain by a large rectangular fragment of concrete.

The earthworks are a rare survival and the battery was one of at least twelve constructed to protect the Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory (NS47SW 149). Similar arrangements of light anti-aircraft batteries were established around a number of vulnerable points, either military or industrial, along the banks of the Clyde.

Visited by HES, Survey and Recording (ATW, AMcC), 2 November 2018.

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