Ancient Monuments

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Findhorn, icehouse and pillbox 50m west of Culbin Sands Hotel

A Scheduled Monument in Forres, Moray

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Latitude: 57.661 / 57°39'39"N

Longitude: -3.6145 / 3°36'52"W

OS Eastings: 303770

OS Northings: 864602

OS Grid: NJ037646

Mapcode National: GBR K8FG.YV4

Mapcode Global: WH5GY.GP1W

Entry Name: Findhorn, icehouse and pillbox 50m W of Culbin Sands Hotel

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1991

Last Amended: 2 December 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5197

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Pillbox; Industrial: farming, food production; Secular: ice house

Location: Kinloss

County: Moray

Electoral Ward: Forres

Traditional County: Morayshire


The monument comprises a pillbox and an icehouse located in Findhorn, 50m W of the Culbin Sands Hotel on a site known as the Dustil. The pillbox was originally scheduled in 1991, but the adjacent icehouses were excluded; the present scheduling rectifies this by including one of the icehouses - the eastern.

The pillbox stands on the NW edge of the summit of the mound know as the Dustil, overlooking Findhorn Bay. It is of concrete construction and is polygonal in shape, with 8 sides including a re-entrant angle. It stands 2.3m high and measures about 4.2m across. Its door and 3 narrow gun embrasures have recently been built up with concrete blocks. The pillbox is one of a number built along the coast of north-eastern Scotland after the fall of France in June 1940, when a German invasion of Britain seemed imminent.

The eastern icehouse is the finer of two that were built in the early 19th century to store ice taken from the River Findhorn in winter and used for packing salmon for dispatch to the markets in London and elsewhere. It is set into a natural earthen mound, which almost completely covers it. It consists of a suite of three barrel-vaulted chambers aligned NW-SE, the inner (or north-western) one being larger than the other two and set at right angles to them.

All three chambers have stone walls and brick vaults with rectangular vents set into them; the NW one also has a floor made of large stone flags. The first vault was originally entered from the SE through a small barrel-vaulted lobby, the door to which has now been partly blocked and made into a window. The complex is now entered from the E through a larger stone-built vestibule with a corrugated-iron roof.

A second icehouse is built into the SW edge of the same mound. It consists of a single vaulted chamber which has been radically altered by the introduction of a large concrete lintelled entrance through its south side. It is not included in the scheduling and is in active commercial use.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures a maximum of 45m E-W by 55m N-S, to include the pill box and eastern ice house. It is defined to the N and E by the edge of the road, to the SW by a line 3m out from the NE wall of the western icehouse and the line of the fence to the NW of this structure and to the NW by the foot of the slope, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance as one of an ever-decreasing number of pillboxes which have survived intact from the Second World War. It is also one where the defensive and strategic importance of the structure and its site, overlooking Findhorn Bay, can still be appreciated. Although pillboxes were not of uniform design or construction this is a particularly good representative example of a type of building which formed a vital component of the anti-invasion measures implemented by Britian during the Second World War.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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