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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Hoy, Scad Head Battery

Coastal Battery (Second World War), Gun Emplacement (Second World War)

Site Name Hoy, Scad Head Battery

Classification Coastal Battery (Second World War), Gun Emplacement (Second World War)

Alternative Name(s) World War Ii

Canmore ID 81766

Site Number HY20SE 2

NGR HY 28901 00684

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Walls And Flotta
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY20SE 2.00 28901 00684

HY20SE 2.01 HY 2822 0036 to HY 2866 0050 Tramway

HY20SE 2.02 centred HY 2875 0053 Military Camp

HY20SE 2.03 HY 28952 00070 and HY 28976 00068 Searchlight Battery

HY20SE 2.04 HY 28946 00068 Engine House

HY20SE 2.05 HY 28913 00065 Engine House

A concrete built gun emplacement, situated on Scad Head. A twin 6 pounder emplacement with no overhead cover with associated buildings and evidence of railway tracks on the beach. The guns were removed in 1950.

J Guy 1993; NMRS 810/2; WO/192/265.

Scad Head coast battery has been built around Chalmers' Hope bay and the Head itself. The accommodation area (HY20SE 2.02) lies at the bottom of a tramway incline some 600m below the B9047 public road.

Other elements of the battery can be detected around the point and further SE are traces of another gun-emplacement.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE) August 1997


Publication Account

The southern end of the Houton Boom terminated at the bottom of the cliffs at Scad Head on Hoy. As a preliminary measure in June 1940 a battery of two quick-firing 12-pounder guns was installed on temporary mountings, pending the arrival of the twin six-pounder equipment which was intended to provide an anti-motor torpedo protection for the boom and Bring Deeps. The first gun-site, which lies some distance to the north of the later battery, was identified for us by one of the team involved. By August 1941 the twin six-pounder was mounted and ready for action, although the overhead canopy for the gun itself was never built. Because of the battery's position a light railway or inclined plane operated by cables was built down the steep hillside, together with a small jetty to facilitate re-supply of the battery. Scad Battery remained operational until the end of the war when it was placed in care and maintenance. In June 1950 the gun was removed and the site abandoned.

The gun emplacement, director tower, magazine and war shelter, the two associated searchlight emplacements and engine room all survive, as do traces of the earlier 12-pounder position (and the camp layout with its neat array of paths). There are also fragments of track and the remains of the winding gear for the light railway to be found. A number of the railway trucks are dumped on the rocks below the battery, and substantial remains of the boom can be found in a gully to the east of the battery.

Information from 'RCAHMS Excursion Guide 1999: Commissioners' field excursion, Orkney, 8-10 September 1999'.


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