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Forth Defences, Middle, Braefoot Point Battery

Coastal Battery (First World War)

Site Name Forth Defences, Middle, Braefoot Point Battery

Classification Coastal Battery (First World War)

Alternative Name(s) Forth Defences; World War I

Canmore ID 50887

Site Number NT18SE 25

NGR NT 17888 83433

NGR Description Centred NT 17888 83433

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/50887

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

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Dalgety
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Dunfermline
  • Former County Fife

World War One Audit of Surviving Remains (14 August 2013)

According to the history of the defences of the Forth during the First World War (on Fort Record Book for Inchcolm (The National Archives WO 192/108) approval had been given 'some considerable time before the war' for the construction of a battery of 9.2-inch guns (a large-calibre gun intended to tackle the largest enemy ships likely to attack the British coast) at Braefoot. Approval was given in July 1914 for the guns, carriages and other equipment to be ordered, and the pedestals for the guns arrived at Aberdour Station in January 1915. They did not reach the battery until April and May. The two guns were mounted on 28 May and 6 July 1915. When the defences of the Forth were restructured it was advocated that the guns be removed to an new battery at Kinghorn, but permission for this was not given. It was ordered, however, in October 1917 that the guns be dismounted and stored ready for despatch - one gun was sent to Portsmouth in December.

The coast guns were such an important part of the defence of the country that considerable efforts were made to protect them from landings of enemy troops that might put them out of action. Not only are there blockhouses within the battery, but a map of 1916 (The National Archives WO 78/4396) shows a ring of six blockhouses inland and along the shore.

Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 13 August 2013.

Archaeology Notes

NT18SE 25.00 centred 17888 83433

NT18SE 25.01 NT 17877 83404 and NT 17905 83439 Gun-emplacements

NT18SE 25.02 NT 17914 83482 Observation post (Battery)

NT18SE 25.03 NT 17878 83493 Magazine;Tramway

NT18SE 25.04 NT 17929 83523 Observation post

NT18SE 25.05 NT 17935 83543 Building

NT18SE 25.06 NT 17799 83466 Barracks; Workshops

NT18SE 25.07 NT 17997 83487 and NT 17855 83305 Searchlight Battery (possible)

NT18SE 25.08 NT 17710 83128 Pier

Camp (disused) [NAT] (at NT 1790 8345)

OS 1:10,000 map, 1984.

Armed May 1915; 2 x 9.2" guns. Disarmed 1917.

N H Clark 1986.

This World War One battery lies in Braefoot plantation on the headland to the W of Braefoot Bay. Built of concrete and brick, the complex consists of two 9.2-inch gun emplacements with many of the support buildings such as workshops, observation post, magazines and a pier. Many of the buildings are in good condition.

J Guy 1994; NMRS MS 810/3.

This large coast battery consists of two concrete and brick gun-emplacements (NT 17877 83405 and NT 17904 83439) and several buildings all situated within Braefoot Plantation. The stone built battery observation posts, magazine and four blockhouses, workshops, stores, the dining room, guardroom and a pier are all extant.

Buildings have been noted at NT 17935 83543, NT 17797 83464, NT 17863 83418 and the magazine is at NT 17878 83493. Further buildings are situated at NT 17855 83305 and NT 17997 83487 and the pier at NT 17710 83128.

All the buildings have their windows and doors blocked with breeze blocks.

The battery is visible on RAF vertical air photographs (106G/Scot/UK 12, Pt.1, 6078-6079, flown 15 April 1946) which shows the two emplacements and all the ancilliary buildings.

Though the battery is of First World War date, there is evidence on the photographs to show occupation of the site during the Second World War. Two Nissen huts are visible immediately to the rear of the gun emplacements.

The battery and constituents is connected to the public road system by a metalled track.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE), March 2005; J Guy 1994; NMRS MS 810/3, 90

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.

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