Ancient Monuments

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Broomhill training trenches, 100m WNW of Breezy Brae

A Scheduled Monument in Tain and Easter Ross, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.7142 / 57°42'51"N

Longitude: -4.1519 / 4°9'6"W

OS Eastings: 271900

OS Northings: 871417

OS Grid: NH719714

Mapcode National: GBR J83B.JWZ

Mapcode Global: WH4FC.6C5K

Entry Name: Broomhill training trenches, 100m WNW of Breezy Brae

Scheduled Date: 19 June 2017

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13641

Schedule Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmuir Easter

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Tain and Easter Ross

Traditional County: Ross-shire

Description

The monument is the remains of a complex of First World War training trenches. The trenches are visible as earthworks located on an area of level ground overlooking the deep gully of a stream to the north, at around 25m above sea level.

The trenches are of a typical 'zigzag' form comprising three main trenches representing the front line, support and reserve trenches, connected by two communication trenches. The complex extends for around 105m north to south by 120m east to west. The front line is the northernmost trench with the support and reserve trenches around 30m and 60m to the south. The trenches are clearest to the north, surviving to a depth of 0.7m, with the remains becoming less defined on the ground as they extend south, but visible on aerial photography.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them to allow for the support and preservation of the monument, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Intrinsic Characteristics

The monument was constructed during the First World War, to prepare recruits for the practicalities of the trench warfare they would face on the front lines of the Western Front and elsewhere, including construction and maintenance of the trenches as well as combat tactics and use of weapons. The trench earthworks survive to a significant degree and their zigzag design and roughly parallel arrangement of main trench, support and reserve trenches connected by communication trenches, replicates the standard form in use on the front lines. There is potential for historical research and investigation of buried archaeological evidence to tell us more about the training that took place here.

Contextual Characteristics

The Broomhill site lies around 2.8km east southeast of another complex of training trenches at Rhicullen. The wider area around Invergordon (2.5km to the south southwest) was heavily utilised by the military during the First World War. The town expanded substantially to provide accommodation, maintenance facilities, hospitals and recreation in support of the large naval presence in the Cromarty Firth. The Broomhill training area is one of 12 known sites across Scotland used for military training during the First World War. These varied in size from small single trenches to substantial landscapes. Some of the other sites have no trace surviving, and several have also remained in use as training areas into the modern day, where Broomhill appears unaltered since the First World War.

Associative Characteristics

The Broomhill training trenches were most likely constructed and used by units of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, who had a large training camp in the Invergordon area throughout the First World War.

Assessment of national importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, in particular military training in the First World War, and the impact of the conflict on Scotland. The monument is one of very few surviving First World War training areas within Scotland, which would have been relatively common during the conflict. The design and construction of the complex mirrors those in use on the front lines, and would be used to familiarise recruits with the tactics of trench warfare, along with the construction and maintenance of the trench systems themselves. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to attempt to understand and appreciate military tactics and training during the First World War, and the wider impact of the conflict upon Scotland's landscape and society.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number 300603 (accessed on 06/06/2017).

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/300603/

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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