AA Battery Limekilnburn Thorniehill
A World War II Anti-Aircraft Battery was sited to the south of Hamilton, near Limekilnburn. Site number S10. Part of the Clyde AA Defences, the site was also known as Thorniehill.
See also the page for AA Battery Limekilnburn Viewfield, a postwar battery located almost on the same site, a few metres to the north.
The area is said to remain above any mist that forms in the valley, and that aircraft were stationed there during both world wars. Subsequent to World War I, the site is said to have been the winter home of a flying circus (unnamed).
The site lies south of Hamilton on the A723 Strathaven road, where the junction with Muttonhole Road (to the west) marks the northern extent of the field containing the remains. A visit to the area (2006) showed the site to be visible and easily accessible, in a field where Keep Out - Bull signs mark the perimeter.
The battery was equipped with four emplacements, a command post, and other buildings, together with a GL Radar platfrom. The battery and camp are clearly visible in aerial photographs taken in 1946.
The battery survives on the site, with the emplacements and building still in place.
The main section of the command post has two rooms, formed by a partition which is missing from many posts, and is badly flooded. Externally, there is a fairly complete outside shelter which has not been noted at any other site, so its purpose is uncertain. At the rear is a small annexe, also not seen on similar sites so its purpose is unknown. It may be related to the battery's GL Radar as the equipment ramp and mat area also lie to the rear of the post. The ramp was found to lie in an area of bog, so could not be examined in detail. The exterior of the command post and some of the emplacement walls have been rendered, also something not observed on other sites.
Several hut bases lie to the north of the battery, and extend into the neighbouring field, and would have formed the accommodation camp.
Note that the wooded area visible in the background of the GL Mat area photograph shown below marks the general area of the later Limekilnburn Viewfield Cold War battery, which was being developed with private housing at the time of this visit.
A second site visit was carried out during April 2011, when drier weather allowed access to the GL Radar ramp, which was found to be in very good condition. Built of brick and concrete, the raised level section was found to be five feet above ground level, falling to one foot above ground at the bottom of the ramp. How this compares to World War II ground level is not known, but it would presumably have had to reach the ground in order to function as a ramp, rather than a step. The four extensions near the corners provided footings for the trailer to be levelled on the platform, while the larger extensions to the sides aided access to the equipment trailer.
The rest of the battery was found to have deteriorated further since the previous visit, although the drier weather meant that the command post was less flooded, and could be entered. At the bottom of the entrance steps there appeared to be a hatch in the floor, another feature not observed on other similar sites.
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