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Eaglesham, Civil Starfish Decoy

Decoy Site (20th Century)

Site Name Eaglesham, Civil Starfish Decoy

Classification Decoy Site (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Clyde Aa Defences; Eaglesham; Longwood, Starfish Decoy Site

Canmore ID 229135

Site Number NS55SW 79.02

NGR NS 540 524

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/229135

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

  • Council East Renfrewshire
  • Parish Eaglesham
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Eastwood
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS55SW 79.02 540 524

The remains of a WWII Starfish decoy site (SF13e) are visible at this location on RAF air photographs (106G/UK1025: 4312 and 4313) taken on 26 November 1945. Clusters where basket fires once stood, bounded by firebreak trenches, cover much of the area described in NS55SW 79.00. A structure visible at NS 5412 5184 may be the decoy control bunker.

Information from RCAHMS (KM) 4 December 2002.

Further examination of the vertical air photographs taken in 1945 show that this Starfish had three distinctive groups of 'basket fires'. They are visible at c.NS 5412 5247, c.NS 5405 5229 and c.NS 5408 5237 with the largest group at the first ngr whilst that at NS 5405 5229 straddles the track that leads to the W. No evidence can be seen on the phtographs for the 'anti aircraft gun emplacement remains' recorded under NS55SW 79.01, however the placing of such a site amongst the installations for a Starfish decoy site is not unkown, other examples being found in Scotland.

Information from RCAHMS (DE), May 2008.

Activities

Field Visit (3 October 2017)

A control shelter (NS45NE 59) and an adjacent building platform are all that has been observed of this World War Two Civil Starfish Decoy, which is visible on RAF air photographs (106G/UK1025: 4312 and 4313) flown on 26 November 1945. The site is one of 18 decoys that were constructed as part of the military infrastructure designed to protect the industries in the centre of Glasgow and along the banks of the River Clyde from aerial attack.

The partly demolished control shelter (NS 54140 51852) is situated on a natural rise in a field of improved pasture about 150m S of a Gas Distribution Station. A collapsed entrance facing W stands 1m high, but what remains of the interior is filled with rubble. The debris indicates that it was a brick-built structure with a flat concrete roof and surrounded by a grass-grown earthen blast wall. There was an escape hatch in the middle of one edge of the roof and the interior consisted of a single compartment. A concrete building platform (perhaps for a generator) is situated 14m WSW of the shelter. It measures 5.5m from NW to SE by 4.8m transversely and there was a threshold on the NW.

No traces of the decoy were observed in the semi-improved pasture about 550m NW of the control shelter, but the two long concrete ‘blocks’ (NS 54056 52378) noted by the Hunters (MS 1589, 54, Feature 35) were plainly constituent platforms. These are clearly visible under the turf in recent aerial photographs (Getmapping vertical air photograph 5452, 14 March 2018). In addition, a concrete block with vertical bolts at each corner (NS 54358 52238), situated on the N verge of the Bonnyton Moor Road, possibly supported a fire basket or a tank. It measures 2m from E to W by 0.8m and is locally interpreted as a mounting for a searchlight.

Visited by HES, Survey and Recording (ATW, JRS) 3 October 2017

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