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Braefoot Point, battery

A Scheduled Monument in Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0365 / 56°2'11"N

Longitude: -3.3202 / 3°19'12"W

OS Eastings: 317837

OS Northings: 683411

OS Grid: NT178834

Mapcode National: GBR 23.RQ1P

Mapcode Global: WH6S4.ZJ3P

Entry Name: Braefoot Point, battery

Scheduled Date: 4 February 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7775

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Artillery mount

Location: Dalgety

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

Description

The monument comprises the well-preserved remains of a WWI battery and associated buildings, plus similar remains of later date.

The battery was constructed as one of a concentration of gun sites (under a unified command) intended to defend an anchorage for battleships to the W of the Forth Rail Bridge. Together with Downing Point and Hound Point batteries, Braefoot Point Battery (armed in May 1915 with two 9.2-inch guns) formed the middle line of three lines of defences through which an attacker would have to pass before reaching the narrows of the river Forth at the bridge.

As the war progressed it was decided to move ships to the E of the bridge and the defence system as a whole followed suit, resulting in the closure of several of the batteries. Braefoot Point Battery was thus shut down in 1917 and the site disposed of in 1921. The brick-built pillboxes or blockhouses date from WWII, and may be associated with a searchlight and possible boom anchorage beside the pier at Braefoot Point.

The existing buildings, of brick and concrete construction, comprise:

1. Two 9.2-inch gun emplacements

2. Magazine

3. Battery Observation Point

4. Guardroom

5. Barrack Block

6. Workshops and Stores

7. Pier

8. Three pillboxes (of later date)

9. Searchlight emplacement.

In addition, the roadways which linked the various buildings are well-preserved, as is the narrow-gauge trackway system for moving shells to the emplacements.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 440m N-S by 230m E-W. The boundary runs, in a clockwise direction, from its NE-most point as follows. Along the line of the boundary wall (which runs parallel to the perimeter fence of the petro-chemical loading area, currently operated by Exxon Chemical Olefins Ltd.) until this peters out at the top of the slope leading down to Braefoot Bay, then following the well-defined break of slope for a distance of 400m before turning due S for 20m to meet the shoreline, then WSW for 30m to join the W-most point of the pier.

From here it follows the outer edge of the pier, around the perimeter of the same, to where the pier adjoins the track leading N to the Barrack Block. The boundary then follows the W side of this track for 290m and then runs due N for 70m to meet the SW-most point of the track which leads to the N edge of the plantation. The boundary then follows the W side of this track for 150m before turning due E for 170m to meet the starting point. The area is delimited in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the well-preserved remains of a WWI battery and associated structures which formed an important component in a system designed to defend the waters of the Forth. It retains considerable potential to add to our knowledge and understanding of fortifications, and attendant military technology and strategy, in the context of the coastal defence of eastern Scotland during WWI.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT 18 SE 25.

References:

Clark, N. H. (1986) 'Twentieth century coastal defences of the Firth of Forth', Fort, Vol. 14, J. Fortress Stud Group, 50, 54.

Saunders, A. (1984) 'The defences of the Firth of Forth', in Breeze, D. J. Studies in Scottish antiquity presented to Stewart Cruden, 469-80, Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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