Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Liberton Battery, anti-aircraft battery 100m east of Liberton Kennels

A Scheduled Monument in Liberton/Gilmerton, City of Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9099 / 55°54'35"N

Longitude: -3.1763 / 3°10'34"W

OS Eastings: 326565

OS Northings: 669157

OS Grid: NT265691

Mapcode National: GBR 8SX.3Y

Mapcode Global: WH6ST.5QR8

Entry Name: Liberton Battery, anti-aircraft battery 100m E of Liberton Kennels

Scheduled Date: 1 October 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13607

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Battery

Location: Edinburgh

County: City of Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Liberton/Gilmerton

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument is the remains of a heavy anti-aircraft battery built during the Second World War. It is visible as a series of concrete and brick structures and associated earthworks. The main structures comprise four gun emplacements, two magazines and the command post. The battery is located on the lower, east-facing slopes of the Braid Hills at around 125m above sea level. There are extensive views to the N and E over Edinburgh and the Forth.

This is one of a network of anti-aircraft batteries built to defend Edinburgh and the Forth. Documentary sources show that the gun emplacements housed four 3.7 inch guns. The remains of concrete hard standings for an associated camp lie to the W, and a scarped area that accommodated the gun laying radar lies to the N, but the camp and radar sites are not included in the scheduled area because they show a lower level of preservation and the camp site is in active use.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan and includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the fences at the boundaries of the scheduled area, the above-ground elements of post-and-wire fences within the scheduled area, and the above ground elements of animal feeders.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument has inherent potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, particularly the defences constructed and manned as part of the extensive effort to defend Britain during the Second World War. The physical legacy of the Second World War is a significant reminder of a major event in human history, and demonstrates the impact that the war had on the people and landscape of Scotland. This site can tell us about the daily lives of those who built and operated these anti-aircraft defences. This monument retains its field characteristics to a marked degree, with well-preserved concrete and brick structures that retain some fixtures and fittings that often do not survive at comparable sites. Anti-aircraft defences are one of the most prominent and important elements of the network of wartime remains within Britain. They were carefully positioned to take advantage of local terrain, topography and lines of sight to defend and protect the most valuable strategic, industrial and economic national assets. The defences of the Forth were part of a wider national system utilising the landscape of Scotland and the UK. The preservation of some of the most important and best preserved individual sites can enhance our understanding and appreciation of the wider Second World War defensive landscape of Scotland and the sacrifices made by people during the conflict. Details of the construction and use of anti-aircraft batteries can be found in the official records of the War Office. If this monument was to be lost or damaged, it would significantly affect our ability to understand the nature and scale of the efforts made to defend Britain against enemy aerial threats in the Second World War, and diminish the associations between communities and their collective experience or memory of the Second World War. Loss of the monument would also have a particular impact on our ability to understand and appreciate the defence of the Forth and of Scotland's capital city during the conflict. These monumental concrete structures are highly visible and powerful reminders of one of the defining events of the 20th century, and of modern human history.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Brown, I 2002, 20th Century Defences in Britain: an Introductory Guide, Council for British Archaeology, York.

Dobinson, C 2001, AA command: Britain's Anti-Aircraft Defences of the Second World War. London: Methuen.

Redfern, N I 1998, Twentieth Century Fortifications in the United Kingdom, vol 4, Site gazetteers: Scotland (i), Council for British Archaeology, York. 18-20


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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