Rattray Head Anti-Tank Line
Rattray Head anti-tank line. An anti-tank stop line which ran south from St Combs to Annachie Bridge, along the north east coast of Scotland. There were two main sections of the anti-tank ditch, one beginning at Starnakeppie, on the south east corner of Loch of Strathbeg, and running south to Annachie Bridge, and a second running running from the north end of the loch, to St Combs. The southern part of the ditch runs for approximately 6.5 kilometres, inland of the dune system, to Annachie Bridge. Postwar RAF aerial photographs (1946) show the ditch was generally provided with a pillbox at each vertex, and that these were surrounded by barbed wire enclosures. After the war, a number of ditch sections were incorporated into farm drainage systems.
The following summary attempts to concentrate some thirty pages of reports and locations, and present the information in pictorial form on the map at the foot of the page, with links to the data source for anyone seeking further information. The locations plotted are as given in the reports, and it should be noted that lines shown to indicate features are only representative of the path between the point, and do not attempt to depict the true ground course of any given feature.
- Rattray Head Anti-Tank Line RCAHMS NK15NW 1.00
- Photographs RCAHMS photographs
- Pillbox 1.01 Well preserved pillbox at NK1032557646, 55 m south east of Rattray Head Shore Station, Lighthouse Shore Station. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.01
- Pillbox 1.02 Well preserved pillbox at NK10115798, at Seatown. Rattray Head Lighthouse Shore Station. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.02
- Pillbox 1.03 Well preserved pillbox at NK1004757254, 780 m east north east of Middleton of Rattray. Rattray Head Lighthouse Shore Station. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.03
- Pillbox 1.04 Pillbox at NK10045671. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.04
- Pillbox 1.05 Well preserved pillbox at NK0993456276, 650 m east of Rattray House. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.05
- Pillbox 1.06 Well preserved pillbox at NK09815587, 585 m south east of Rattray House. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.06
- Pillbox 1.07 Well preserved pillbox at NK0994255573, 855 m south east of Rattray House. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.07
- Anti-Tank Blocks 1.08 Two rows of four and one row of three anti-tank blocks or pimples at NK10535805, about 30 m long, east of ditch. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.08
- Pillbox 1.09 Well preserved pillbox at NK0997755035, 1.15 km south south east of Rattray Home Farm. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.09
- Pillbox 1.10 Well preserved pillbox at NK0979855735, 640 m south east of Rattray House. RCAHMS NK15NW 1.10
- Pillbox Starnakeppie Type 24 pillbox at NK08815800 on the north edge of Castle Hill. Castle Hill. Starnakeppie.RCAHMS NK05NE 24
- Annachie Bridge Annachie Bridge, NK10505315.
- St Combs. St Combs.
To the south of St Combs, a short, straight section of ditch was cut through Tillyduff Hill, possibly linking with a drain/ditch cut to drain Loch of Strathbeg. This drain/ditch may also have been used to protect the area north of Loch of Strathbeg. Two short lengths of anti-tank blocks, (10.02A) and (10.02B), and one pillbox (10.01) within a barbed-wire enclosure can be seen on RAF aerial photographs (1946). The pillbox stands on a narrow trench running from NK06016259 to NK05976285, and merges into a second line of anti-tank blocks (10.02B).
- Rattray Head Anti-Tank Line. Tillyduff Hill. Anti-Tank Ditch RCAHMS NK06SE 10.00
- Pillbox 10.01 Pillbox at NK0603862654, Tillyduff Hill; Trench. RCAHMS NK06SE 10.01
- Anti-Tank Blocks 10.02A and Anti-Tank Blocks 10.02B Anti-Tank Blocks at NK06026253 and NK05966290, Tillyduff Hill. RCAHMS NK06SE 10.02
- Pillbox 10.03 Possible Type 27 pillbox at NK05716320, 50 m north east of St Columba's Church. St Combs, St Comb's Haven. RCAHMS NK06SE 10.03
- Pillbox 10.04 Possible Type 27 pillbox at NK05406350, 100 m north east of Charleston, St Combs. RCAHMS NK06SE 10.04
- Trench near pillbox 10.01 North, Trench near pillbox (10.01) South Trench between NK06016259 and NK05976285, near pillbox (10.01).
- Tank Line/Ditch North, Tank Line/Ditch South Tank Line/Ditch between NK06116210 and NK06026243.
A line of coastal defence pillboxes protected the approach to Crimond airfield, and formed part of the anti-tank stop line that ran along the north east coast. A canal/ditch runs north from the Loch of Strathbeg to Gallow Hill (NK06176185) and may be part of the same line. See RCAHMS NK06SE, Loch of Strathbeg canal.
- Rattray Head Anti-Tank Line. Rattray Airfield RCAHMS NK05NE 17.00
- Photographs RCAHMS pictures
- Pillbox 17.01 Well preserved pillbox at NK09255832, 675 m east north east of Old Rattray, Coastguard Lookout. RCAHMS NK05NE 17.01
- Pillbox 17.02 Well preserved pillbox at NK09575826, 875 m east north east of Old Rattray. RCAHMS NK05NE 17.02
- Pillbox 17.03 Well preserved pillbox at NK09725821, 460 m west north west of Seatown. RCAHMS NK05NE 17.03
- Canal North, Canal S Canal between NK06515975 and NK06146219.
- Tank Line North, Tank Line South Tank Line between NK09255832 and NK09725821.
- Gallow Hill NK06176185 Gallow Hill, NK06176185.
Pillboxes are also noted by Grampian Regional Council (GRC) at the following locations, however it is unclear whether any of these duplicate those recorded by RCAHMS NK05NE 17.00).
- Pillbox GRC1 at NK057579.
- Pillbox GRC2 at NK092582.
- Pillbox GRC3 at NK095582.
- Pillbox GRC4 at NK097581.
- Pillbox GRC5 at NK100574.
- Pillbox GRC6 at NK10125798.
- Pillbox GRC7 at NK10325767.
A major section of the anti-tank stop line is described between NK10025500 and NK10555315, and comprises an anti-tank ditch running north south, inland of the dunes. Between this ditch, and west of the high water line, there is a further series of anti-tank landing ditches in the dunes, running east west. Gaps in this system were protected by short lengths of anti-tank blocks, with a short section of approximately 150 m lying on the north side of the Annachie burn outflow (NK15SW 6.05). Pillboxes were located to the west of the ditch, one of which (pillbox 6.01) appear to have been provided with circular platforms, protected by a barbed wire enclosure, which could have served light anti-aircraft guns, or a searchlight battery.
- Anti-Tank Ditch. North Blackwater. Annachie Bridge RCAHMS NK15SW 6.00
- Pillbox 6.01 Well preserved pillbox at NK1003554603 1.55 km south south east of Rattray Home Farm. Also has a barbed-wire enclosure to its west, with two small circular banked platforms which may have been used for light anti-aircraft guns or searchlights. North Blackwater. Trenches. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.01
- Pillbox 6.02 Pillbox at NK1019053993. North Blackwater. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.02
- Anti-tank Blocks 6.03A and Anti-tank Blocks 6.03B Anti-Tank Blocks at NK10375482 and NK10415452. North Blackwater. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.03
- Anti-tank Blocks 6.04A and Anti-tank Blocks 6.04B Anti-Tank Blocks at NK10495418 and NK10535404. North Blackwater. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.04
- Anti-tank Blocks 6.05 Anti-Tank Blocks at NK10745343. Annachie Burn. Annachie Bridge. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.05
- Pillbox 6.06 Possible five sided pillbox/structure at NK1169551362. St Fergus Links. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.06
- Pillbox 6.07 Possible six sided pillbox at NK1056653088 about 130 m east of Annachie Bridge. St Fergus Links, Annachie Bridge. Annachie Burn. RCAHMS NK15SW 6.07
- Ditch North, Ditch South Ditch between NK10025500 and NK10555315.
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