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Patterton Rifle Range

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Trench interior, 2008, Fox
Trench interior

Patterton Rifle Range occupied an area to the north of Waulkmill Glen Reservoir on the south side of Glasgow, which it shared with the Darnley Rifle Range. Both ranges lay to the east of Barrhead, in the area of Nitshill which now lies to the west of the M77 motorway.

The ranges have mostly been absorbed into the land, and the surviving trenches are overgrown by woodland. Completed during the years 1996 to 2005, The M77 motorway also passes though part of the former range area.

Victorian mapping

Recorded on maps dating back to the 1860s, the area contains numerous ranges. These are identified as: Patterton Rifle Range to the east; Darnley Rifle Range to the west; Revolver Ranges & Miniature Rifle Range to the north; two Revolver Ranges adjacent to the Patterton Range; and at least eight distinct Targets distributed in the area between the ranges. The Darnley Range is the longer of the two, extending northwards for some 1,100 yards, while the Patterton Range extends northeast for only 900 yards. The southern part of the range is shown as woodland, and contains a number of long deep trenches, varying in length from 10 to 100 yards, and marked as Targets.

Site visit

A site visit was carried out during 2008, when the four deep trenches depicted on current OS mapping were identified within thick woodland, and an access road was located to the west.

The trenches were about six feet wide, with walls made of stone or rubble which has been rendered. Heavy silting of the floors means the wall height is uncertain, but is estimated to have been between 12 and 15 feet. The trenches are closed at one end, with a narrow entrance at the other. Two of the entrances have been widened, but it is not clear if this was a deliberate modification, weathering, erosion, or later vandalism.

The longer trenches have a series of large concrete blocks on their southern side, which creates a shelf or platform between five and six feet from the floor of the trench. The age and purpose of the platforms is unknown, but may relate to local accounts of the trenches being used to store munitions during World War II. A series of iron brackets was also noted to extend from the southern trench wall.

One trench carries the partial remains of a cast iron fitting which appears to be of Victorian origin. Evidence of a pipe, sump, and hole in the wall (assumed to be for an outflow), suggests this may have been a sump pump, used to manually pump out water which collected in the bottom of the trench. The two shorter trenches showed evidence of having been fitted with a single pump, while the longer trenches had two, one being located at each end.

An alcove was found about halfway along the north side of the longest trench, together with a number of stone blocks, also installed on the northern edge, and giving the appearance of a castellated edge.

Areas where the soil appears to have been bulldozed to create clear spaces about 15 feet across and having earth banks about 30 feet long were noted nearby, however there was nothing to indicate their purpose.



Trench, 2008, Fox
Trench, 2008, Fox
Trench, 2008 Fox
Trench, 2008, Fox
Trench, 2008, Fox

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