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Ganavan Indicator Loop

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Indicator loop station, 2008, Fox
Indicator loop station

Ganavan indicator loop was installed at Ganavan Bay, together with associated buildings, during World War II, and shared the area with a Royal Navy Flying Boat Maintenance Unit, and a signal station.

Indicator loops were anti-submarine defences, comprising long wire loops installed on the sea bed, able to detect the magnetic signal generated when a steel-hulled vessels passed over them. The loops connected to Ganavan were positioned in the approach channels, and would detect any surface or submarine vessels travelling in the channels between Oban, Mull and Lismore.

The location of the loops is indicated by the yellow lines on the map below, while the white line shows the link to the more distant westerly loop connected to the station.

Believed to belong in part to Loop 1 as shown on the map below, six armoured steel cables are reported to come ashore at Gorsten/Gorten, on the Isle of Mull. Not all cables are related to the loop, being of later construction, as is a small hut nearby, believed to relate to later telegraph operations which were based at the same site. Records indicate that the indicator loop station building survives to the southwest of the bay, and consists of a single brick and concrete structure containing two rooms. A second building survives on the hillside below the station with the two connected by a series of 24 steps set into the hillside.

There is also a report describing the site as an earlier practice battery, citing the location as a PF (position fixing) post.

A number of brick and concrete buildings associated with the indicator loop station remain as ruins on the original site, and these have been recorded in the photographic surveys listed in the Links section below.

Site visit

A site visit was carried out during March 2008. Only two complete buildings were found, the loop control station and an unknown building, together with several concrete bases and some partial remains.

The loop control station sits on a small hilltop, and has three concrete bases lying in line to the north. Two relatively small bases with four threaded studs located along their western, seaward sides, and a third larger base, approximately 60 feet long.

Two second building lies a few metres northeast of the first, down a series of 24 steps set into the hillside, and may have been a generator room or store, but is unconfirmed. Two further bases and some partial remains lie near the lower building, an a slope leading to the shore and small inlet. These lower buildings have been described as "harbour defence huts". A concrete path was found in the ground, running to the north, however it was not possible to determine the ultimate destination or length of this path, although it appears to head towards a sheltered beach, rather than any of the identifiable hut bases.

A reminiscence recorded in the BBC's People's War site tells of a WREN posted to the location, and recalls an officer running up the steps between the huts.

Photographs

Loop control station, upper building, 2008, Fox
Loop control station, upper building
Steps between huts, 2008, Fox
Steps between huts
Lower store or generator building, 2008, Fox
Lower store or generator building
Lower building, 2008, Fox
Lower building
View from lower building, 2008, Fox
View from lower building
Lower remains, 2008, Fox
Lower remains
Base and inlet, 2008, Fox
Base and inlet
View back from inlet, 2008, Fox
View back from inlet


External links

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

 

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Aerial views


Map

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