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AA Battery Bogside Racecourse

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A World War II anti-aircraft battery was sited to the east of Irvine, on Bogside Racecourse. Part of the .

The battery was equipped with four emplacements, a command post, and an accommodation camp. Aerial photographs taken by the RAF in 1943 showed the battery in the area of Bogside racecourse, together with a number of anti-glider trenches.

No surviving remains are reported for the battery, which lay at the centre of the racecourse, and has been lost over the years. However, re-examination of new aerial imagery released by Google in 2009 suggests the existence of a structure on the spot where the battery command post would have been sited, and this is marked on the map below, but requires a site visit to confirm its function.

The line of the course can still be seen in aerial views, together with the outline of a command post, and hut bases to the southeast. Although there appear to be no actual remains of the emplacements, their construction has left ground scars in the area where they were located.

Related remains

A local report describes further installations: "On the 9th fairway of the Irvine Bogside golf course you can clearly see where they have had the gun situated. Guns were also said to be located at the top of the hill on the 6th hole, not so visible, but this is why the hole was named Cannon Hill".

Site visit

Thanks to a member from Germany spotting a building on Google Maps, a site visit took place during 2009. Remains of the command post were found, and seen to be in very poor condition, with one end either having collapsed or been demolished, leaving about three-quarters of the structure remaining. The quality of the remaining concrete and brickwork was appeared to be very poor. The structure was identified as a Type A command post, but no trace of the instrument or related pits could be found anywhere in the surrounding ground.

The area to the west of the post was very boggy at the time, and populated by a large number number of bulrushes. The original access track from the east was found to be barely usable due to water, and in wetter weather probably becomes unusable. The field around the post is covered with very tall grass, above 5 feet in height in some places, which effectively hides the building from view. No remains the four emplacements were found, or the associated accommodation camp, however a number of areas of shorter grass were noted in the area. The shorter grass may be evidence of concrete hut bases which are now covered, or of where they were once located. These areas have become evident in aerial views of the land around the post, particularly to the east, but the emplacements do not seem to have become visible.

Most of the concrete inner rail stanchions installed around the Bogside Racecourse still remain in place, as do a number of the wooden hurdle supports. The track is clear all the way round, and evidence of tyre marks on the track suggest that it is in regular use by owners of various off=road vehicles such as trail bikes and quad bikes.

External links

Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-

 

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Aerial views


Map

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