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Torry Point Battery

The substantial remains of Torry Point Battery lie 2 miles (3 km) east of Aberdeen city centre, overlooking the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour. By the time agreement was reached between the City Fathers and the Board of Ordnance to build the battery, the principal enemy it was intended to protect the city from (the French) had become allies of Britain. Nevertheless the battery was begun in 1859, on the site of an older defence, and completed two years later. Its equipment included two of the heaviest guns available at the time. In 1894, the guns were removed and the Battery became a military training ground. Only nine years later, with the perception of a rising threat from Germany, were new guns installed and it was these which defended the harbour during the First World War. It retained its guns during much of the inter-war period, although was not permanently manned. During World War II, the battery was significantly re-inforced and re-armed. It developed an anti-aircraft role in addition to its function in harbour defence. The housing shortage after the war brought families to temporary accommodation provided by the nissen huts which had once been occupied by the gunners, some remaining until 1953. The guns were removed in 1956 and thereafter the battery was partially demolished. For many years it was seen by the City Fathers as a blight on their landscape, but what remained was stabilised as a historical relic within parkland in the 1970s, with car parks provided. The Battery had also developed importance as a nature reserve, with nationally-rare bird species taking up residence.

Torry Point Battery is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument representing one of few mid-19th century defensive sites remaining around the British coast. What remains today comprises several granite bastions and magazines, together with an entrance arch in fine ashlar and a guardhouse behind. An archaeological investigation in 2004 temporarily revealed the remains of several other structures.


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