Ancient Monuments

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Tentsmuir Coastal defences

A Scheduled Monument in Tay Bridgehead, Fife

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Latitude: 56.4424 / 56°26'32"N

Longitude: -2.8326 / 2°49'57"W

OS Eastings: 348765

OS Northings: 728109

OS Grid: NO487281

Mapcode National: GBR VP.D01D

Mapcode Global: WH7RL.GBCK

Entry Name: Tentsmuir Coastal defences

Scheduled Date: 4 September 2001

Last Amended: 17 April 2018

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9712

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Tank obstacles

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of a complex of linear defences, running from Leuchars Airfield in the south to Lundin Bridge in the north-east. It is made up of concrete anti-tank blocks, command posts, quadrant towers, pill boxes and what may have been a bombing decoy post to the north of the airfield.

There were also anti-glider posts on the foreshore, some of which are still visible under certain tidal conditions, and barbed wire entanglements. Set back behind the main line was a camp for those who built and later defended the line.

The defences were intended to protect a stretch of the coastline which was considered particularly vulnerable to attack by German forces in the Second World War. They were constructed in late 1940 by Polish troops.

Stretches of the line of anti-tank blocks have been lost through deliberate removal or through coastal erosion, or are now simply covered over by shifting sands, while at least one quadrant tower has collapsed. The camp for those who built and defended the line has now been reduced to the shells of two buildings and a water tank, though there are traces of other buildings in the surrounding woodland.

The main area to be scheduled is an irregular L-shaped configuration running 6,600 metres from north to south, and 4,000 metres from east to west, as indicated in red on the accompanying map extract. For much of its length the inner boundary of the area is defined by the lines of existing trackways. Excluded from this area is an enclosure around the quadrant tower at NO500248, which is in residential occupation.

A second area to be scheduled is a rectangle centred on NO239480, extending to 590 metres on its north-south axis and 190 metres on its east west axis, as indicated in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as one of the best preserved stretches of coastal defences dating from the period of the Second World War in Scotland, and as a complex of defences in which a widely representative range of defensive types is still to be seen.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Council for British Archaeology (1995) 'Twentieth-century defences in Britian'.

Guy, J. (1992-4) 'Fife, World War One and Two defences'.

Wills, H. (1985) 'Pillboxes, a study of UK defences 1940'.

Saunders, A. (1989) 'Fortress Britain'.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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