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Rubha Nan Sasan, Cove Battery, Battery Observation Tower

Observation Post (Second World War)

Site Name Rubha Nan Sasan, Cove Battery, Battery Observation Tower

Classification Observation Post (Second World War)

Alternative Name(s) Loch Ewe Defences

Canmore ID 252849

Site Number NG89SW 4.02

NGR NG 81496 92101

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NG89SW 4.02 81496 92101

The brick and concrete Battery Observation Post (BoP), with a viewing platform and a single compartment to the rear, still stands to orginal height. It is supported on brick pillars and a central brick pedestal suggesting it is now in an unstable condition.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE, GS, JG), August 2000


Field Visit (5 September 2019)

This battery observation post is situated on grass- and rush-grown, peaty ground at the top of a NE-facing slope from which it has a fine outlook over the gun emplacements (NG89SW 4.0) and most of their ancillary installations. It measures 6.9m from NE to SW by 5.6m transversely over reinforced cast concrete walls about 0.3m thick and 2.82m high. These walls have a distinctively rusticated appearance, but they have become badly discoloured by the layer of bitumen waterproofing that has dripped down from the flat, overhanging roof. The building is supported on 14 brick piles set on rough concrete plinths. Most of the piles are square on plan, but those below the corners of the massive observation window that faces NE are wedge-shaped. The observation compartment is polygonal on plan and crowned with a flat canopy with an overhang of immense proportions above the wrap-around window. This is supported by a heavy rectangular framework of cement-skimmed steel beams. The chamfered parapet overlapping the walls below the window now supports two metal posts that have been inserted to shore up this frame. However, the cement cladding has rotted exposing the steel beams, and sections of the frame on the NW have fallen to the ground. Two narrow slits in the NW and SE walls behind the window provide additional light and ventilation, while a window off-centred in the SW elevation lights the rear compartment. Access to the interior is by a short flight of steps and a door at the SW corner of the building, but this is presently boarded-up. Nevertheless, the corrugated iron sheet shuttered ceiling within the observation compartment appears to have been whitewashed, while there are traces of whitewash and blackwash on all the walls except the brick wall at the back. The only fittings of note are a pillar for a depression range finder situated close to W side of the window and the wooden door behind it which leads to the rear compartment.

Although there are differences of detail, the architecture of this battery observation post is similar to the post at the Emergency Coastal Battery on Innes Links, Moray (NJ26NE 30.03) and that which formerly stood on Dunskaith Castle associated with Fort Nigg (NH86NW 10.02).

Visited by HES, Survey and Recording (ATW, AKK), 5 September 2019.


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