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Thread: Unidentified Building, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire (Confirmed NOT a pillbox)

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    Default Unidentified Building, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire (Confirmed NOT a pillbox)


    OK, I have FINALLY got around to capturing this one. Described on DOB as a two story square pillbox, I can confirm that they are correct in that respect. It is designated S0011561. (Edit: I think we can now scratch this one off the DoB database, since it is NOT a pillbox.)

    They do have the position out somewhat however, so I can now confirm that the correct coordinates should be 57.50754N, 001.82591W. I was extremely pleased to find that my Garmin's coords tie in fairly well with Google Earth. I've a couple of other checks to do on some other locations, so I will hopefully find a consistent error to apply.

    This pillbox sits on the Asda/bypass roundabout, facing west. Although it's not TOO far from Peterhead airfield, I have difficulty in imagining it had anything to do with the defence of it. It's a fair bit away too from the railway that once connected Peterhead. So I'm afraid I have no idea why it was there, unless there was to defend a now defunct and long forgotten military site.

    Never mind, on with the pics.

    Door is on the east side.


    Southern face


    This side faces up the road towards the airfield.


    The suspended concrete floor has all but gone. I remember it being almost intact when I were a lad.


    I find it incredible that the top holes could be considered embrasures. There must have been something else to stand on to get you up to that height.


    Remnants of concrete facing. If the whole of the structure was covered in this, the pillbox would have looked like just another ubiquitous tower housing a water pump and cistern. Way back then, it would have been sitting in a field at the side of the road, so would have simply gone unnoticed.


    Righto. Off to Cairnbulg to check out the location of another couple of pillboxes.

    Last edited by Seahorse; 18th Mar 10 at 16:47. Reason: New info
    Do it safely, or not at all.

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    Great stuff my man the makings of some good pillbox threads I see :)
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    I know this one is in the DoB but I wouldn't call it a pillbox. It's only brick and why have a full height door and no second floor built in? I suspect this is an existing building that has had a couple of loopholes knocked in it to serve as a home guard post.
    It was me I ate all the pies.

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    You could well be right. I feel a correction is needed in the database. ;)

    I've tried and tried, but cannot find anything at all worth defending in that area. If it was to stop anybody who successfully took the airfield from heading down the road to Peterhead, it would have held the invading force for all of 2 seconds I reckon.
    Do it safely, or not at all.

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    Kind of supports my theory this was probably a Home Guard manned roadblock on the way in to town.
    It was me I ate all the pies.

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    There are two almost identical structures near here. Local farmers call them "shell huts". I'm led to believe that they were some kind of shell storage building for anti-aircraft gun positions.
    Mind you - one of them is right next to a main road and may well have been a check point / road block hut.

    The mystery deepens.....

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    Thinking about it, there would habe been no road in front of this one during the war. The road would have been behind it, leading into the dorway. So if it WAS a guard post, that would make more sense, since the sentry wouldn't want to go traipsing around the thing.

    In your scenario Sausage, I think I have found something that supports your theory. Just up the road, and being revealed due to a new housing development going up, is some substantial concrete footings. So it is entirely possible that there WAS something there back then that is only now coming to light. Anti aircraft gun position? Why not. The railway would have been an obvious line to follow for a bomber intent on having a pop at RAF Peterhead, as would the road west out of Peterhead. And as the foundations are in between those two routes, it would make sense to position a battery there.

    Flippin heck, all that's happening is, there's more questions than answers now. :D

    Righto, I'm off to seek permission to do a Battle HQ. The field is cattle and crop free now though, so if I get told to feck off, I'm in there anyway. Right to roam, and all that nonsense.

    I'll take a torch, just in case of
    a.) A friendly response, and
    b.) there is actual access, and Mr Farmer hasn't blocked up the entrances.

    Hmm. Coveralls might be an idea too. And wellies. Thanks for reminding me.
    Do it safely, or not at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    There are two almost identical structures near here. Local farmers call them "shell huts". I'm led to believe that they were some kind of shell storage building for anti-aircraft gun positions.
    Mind you - one of them is right next to a main road and may well have been a check point / road block hut.

    The mystery deepens.....
    There maybe some credence to this. If there was a hoist in there it would explain the double height door and lack of floor. Although I've never seen the like anywhere else serving the same function.
    It was me I ate all the pies.

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    There's no eveidence of anything on the ceiling to hang a hoist from. Oh, I lie like a cheap Chinese watch. If you look carefully, there are holes in the ceiling which might conceivably have been mounting points for a hoist. There is also an iron bar protruding from the wall about half way up. I wonder what that was for.

    There is also ducting at the base of the structure that I had assumed, perhaps erroneously, was for drainage as the area is prone to flooding, and a ditch used to run nearby.

    Perhaps instead, it was for power and comms? See for yourself...

    Do it safely, or not at all.

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    Well, at least I can confirm this is NOT a pillbox. I popped in again on the way back from the battle HQ visit and took a couple more pics.

    Further to cptpies suggestiion that there may have been a hoist, there is evidence that something was indeed suspended from the ceiling.


    But here we can see that there is no way anybody would have been sticking firearms through the holes. They are nothing more than air vents.


    In my last post, I questioned whether or not the 3 ducts pictured were for drainage or otherwise. Well, since this is a drain, that's one question out of the way.


    And here's a remnant of old cloth covered comms wire.


    I've no idea why, but on the north wall, there's a gap in the brickwork, and a hole drilled to the outside. No sign that anything was affixed to the outer wall on the other side.


    Just above the hole, is signs of something having been mounted. Telephone?


    On the outside of the opposite wall, there is this. I'm guessing a mount for an antenna pole. But could equally have been for a flagpole or similar.


    I also took a wander down the road afterwards. I just cannot imagine anyone carrying shells down a public road. On the opposite side of the original road is an old house (1711 old, and I'd LOVE to get inside but is currently occupied) , which might I suppose, have housed a military presence back then so this could have been a guard post for there?

    On the southern side of the other road, was an old builders yard that I once explored prior to it being demolished and a posh new house built on the site. I wish I could remember if any of the buidings had a military feel about them, but it was a good long while ago, and way before the advent of digital photography. :(

    Are we getting bored with this yet?
    Do it safely, or not at all.

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