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Clyde Defences, Portkil Battery

Degaussing Station (Second World War), Pillbox (First World War)

Site Name Clyde Defences, Portkil Battery

Classification Degaussing Station (Second World War), Pillbox (First World War)

Alternative Name(s) World War I; Portkil Point

Canmore ID 239750

Site Number NS28SE 39.04

NGR NS 25191 80216

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/239750

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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Rosneath
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Dumbarton
  • Former County Dunbartonshire

World War One Audit of Surviving Remains (5 July 2013)

This structure coincides with the location of a "blockhouse" marked on a map of 1916 that shows the defences of Portkil battery. It is not clear if this structure survives.

Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 5 July 2013.

Archaeology Notes

NS28SE 39.04 25191 80216

What may be a searchlight platform or possibly a pillbox is situated on Portkil Point. The building is visible on postwar vertical air photographs (CPE/Scot/ 350, 5209- 5211, flown 17 April 1948).

Information from RCAHMS (DE), March 2003

Activities

Project (March 2013 - September 2013)

A project to characterise the quantity and quality of the Scottish resource of known surviving remains of the First World War. Carried out in partnership between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS.

Field Visit (13 December 2016)

A building that once housed a First World War searchlight and a pillbox have been incorporated within a dwelling that is currently occupied. The searchlight emplacement (no. 4) was constructed to replace an earlier one to the E (see NS28SE 39.05) and its facetted south side now forms a bay window on that side of the house. Access to the house could not be gained on the date of visit therefore it is not known how much of the rest of the original structure, as depicted on a plan dated 5 May 1909 (The National Archive WO78/5189), survives. As planned, this emplacement had similarities to the 1915-16 searchlights at Cloch (see NS27NW21). At some point a blockhouse or pillbox was built adjacent to the W side of the searchlight - as shown on a plan of the defences of Portkil 1914-16 (WO78/4396), and at the W end and N sides of the house containing narrow horizontal slit windows, a feature also seen in the only other pillbox at Portkil (see NS28SE 39.6). The two building were combined and used as a Degaussing Station during the Second World War (Farley 1998), and remnants of electrical cabling probably connected to this function are visible on the adjacent foreshore.

Visited by HES (AKK) 13 December 2016.

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