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AA Battery Drumbowie

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Drumbowie entrance, 2008, Fox
Drumbowie entrance

A World War II anti-aircraft battery was sited to the north of Glenmavis. Site number N12. Part of the , the site was known as Drumbowie or Ryding, possibly Drumbowie Farm, or Glenmavis.

The Drumbowie battery is significant in that it is one of a small number of former World War II heavy anti-aircraft batteries that were converted for use during the Cold War.

World War II

The battery was equipped with four gun emplacements, command post, GL Radar mat, and an accommodation camp to the south. Aerial photographs taken by the RAF in 1945 show the emplacements to have been heavily overgrown then, suggesting lack of use, and records indicate the battery was not armed during the war.

Cold War

Following a site visit in 2008, investigation of the remains revealed that this was a formerly undocumented .

Aerial photographs taken of the site taken in 1947 are reported to show that the vegetation had been cleared, and further RAF photographs taken in 1955 showed the addition of two new flat roofed buildings to the site, west of the existing command post. Modifications were also observed to have been made to the gun emplacements.

These changes suggests that the battery had been incorporated into the Cold War anti-aircraft defences created as part of the postwar ROTOR air defence system, a massive air defence radar system created during the 1950s to counter the threat of Soviet bombers, and which controlled anti-aircraft batteries operated by Fighter Command and the British Army.

Site visit

A site visit made during 2008 found that the four emplacements, command post, engine room, and computer room were extant, while the area formerly occupied by the accommodation camp has been planted with native hardwood trees. The farmer confirmed that the tree planting now covers the area where the bases for the camp buildings could once have been seen.

The command post was found to be of Type 2, unmodified since World War II, and complete with a small annexe (often found demolished) which may have been a toilet. The interior of the post was partly flooded, and the fabric of the building is beginning to decay. The rear of the building was fitted with a large door, similar to that found at the Houston battery, also a conversion battery.

The four emplacements were found to be of Type H construction, still structurally sound, and with additional features not normally found on the remains, including some electrical conduit and switchgear in two of the attached engine rooms, and a cable duct with its original steel cover still in place.

The computer room was found to be largely intact, with two small rooms surviving in an annexe to the west. One was found to contain a heavy concrete base, which could have supported an engine or pump. While the other room had no similar feature, it was provided with a 6 inch square hole leading through the connecting wall into the main room, a feature which as been found to have a duct fitted, suggesting it may have been used for forced ventilation. The building was found to have a sump on the west side, still fitted with its original cover, and possibly extending under the building to connect with a similar feature to the east. The sump to the east had lost its cover, and the water level within could be seen to be similar to that in the western sump.

The engine room appeared to be substantially complete, having been reused as a farm building.

Three brick and concrete manholes were noted, assumed to be part of the site's original sewage system.


Command post

Command post, 2008, Fox
Command post
Height and range finder pit area, 2008, Fox
Height and range finder pit area
Interior, 2008, Fox
Rear door, 2008, Fox
Rear door
Small annexe, 2008, Fox
Small annexe
Pit area detail, 2008, Fox
Pit area detail

Computer room

From the north, 2008, Fox
From the north
From the south, 2008, Fox
From the south
Interior view, 2008, Fox
Interior view
Annexe left room, 2008, Fox
Annexe left room
Annexe right room, 2008, Fox
Annexe right room

Engine room

From the south, 2008, Fox
From the south
From the west, 2008, Fox
From the west


Store and ready use ammunition rack, 2008, Fox
Store and ready use ammo rack

External links

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



Aerial views



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