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Comrie, Cultybraggan Former Cadet Camp, Huts 1-3, 21, 29-39, 47-57 (All Nos Inclusive)

A Category B Listed Building in Comrie, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3567 / 56°21'24"N

Longitude: -3.9948 / 3°59'41"W

OS Eastings: 276838

OS Northings: 720050

OS Grid: NN768200

Mapcode National: GBR 19.3GHT

Mapcode Global: WH4N0.LHX7

Entry Name: Comrie, Cultybraggan Former Cadet Camp, Huts 1-3, 21, 29-39, 47-57 (All Nos Inclusive)

Listing Date: 30 May 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398528

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50472

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Comrie

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathearn

Parish: Comrie

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

Circa 1941. Group of buildings forming part of a large purpose-built World War II Prisoner of War camp. 15 semi-circular corrugated metal Nissen huts lining approach to SE and group of 11 similar huts to NE. Huts of varying lengths, 16-foot span, brick base courses and rendered ends, corrugated iron roofs, most with door flanked by timber windows to each end, timber and corrugated iron catslide dormers to the lengths; to NE group, 2 pairs of smaller huts linked together. Mostly timber casement windows with varying glazing patterns.

INTERIOR: Nissen huts mostly very plain. Some smaller huts in NE group have sanitary fittings, likely to be post-war.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Comrie, Cultybraggan Former Cadet Camp, Hut Nos 19, 20, 44,45,46.

The statutory address hut numbers are based on the numbering system operated by the TA.

Cultybraggan Camp is one of the three best preserved purpose-built WWII prisoner of war camps in Britain. The listed structures at Cultybraggan provide important physical evidence of the ways in which POW were detained during this period, supplemented by varying levels of documentary evidence. The listed group includes part of the original guards' compound to the south, and half of one of the prisoner 'cages' to the north, including accommodation and ablutions blocks. To the right of the front gate is the hut which was used as the camp church (hut 21). Cultybraggan holds additional interest because it held a high proportion of so-called 'black' or Nazi prisoners, and also because it gained notoriety following the Rostberg murder (see below).

This grouping of huts span from the North to the South of the site and serve as a reminder of the scale of the camp and the different type of layout used.

Cultybraggan Camp was under construction in September 1941, and was originally intended as a labour camp for Italian POW, but does not appear to have been occupied at that time. By May 1944 (the date of the camp's first Red Cross inspection), Cultybraggan was a transit camp for German POW, holding 785 with a capacity of 4500. By 25 December 1944, the camp was holding 3988 POW and had been redesignated as a base camp. Most likely because of its remote location, Cultybraggan became known as 'Nazi 2', one of the two maximum security camps in Britain which held a high proportion of prisoners classified as 'black', i.e. the most ardent Nazis and potential troublemakers. On 22 December 1944 an infamous kangaroo court was held and Sergeant Wolfgang Rostberg was murdered as an informer by fellow POWs (5 of whom were later convicted in a high-profile trial and hanged at Pentonville).

Cultybraggan was disbanded as a POW camp circa May 1947. The site was subsequently used as a training centre and location for TA summer camps. Its use as a military training camp continued until 2004.

The camp was laid out following a fairly standard, near-symmetrical pattern, with the guard's compound located to the S nearest the access from the public road, with a recreation ground to the NE side. The prisoner's compounds (falling into 4 near-identical groupings) were located to the N, on the other side of a spine road running E-W across the site. The compounds are divided by a network of roads, and the huts are surrounded by grassed plots. To the centre of the camp is the brick-built (with shuttered concrete roof) secure accommodation block, which retains original cell doors, although the partition walls have been lost.

In the 1970s, the two prisoner compounds to the W side of the site were demolished, and the assault course and firing range were subsequently constructed on part of that area. The groundworks of the demolished huts are still partly discernible.

Approximately 100 yards to the N of the site is its sewage treatment plant, which is accessed by a 2-track timber roadway, possibly dating to the POW period of the camp. Later buildings on the site or connected to it include a few post war structures to the SW corner of the site, a small 1950s/60s gas facility, rifle range and assault course built in the 1970s, a Royal Observation Corps bunker and alarge Regional Government Headquarters nuclear bunker, built in the early 1990s. To the N of the site is an explosives magazine, which appears to post date the POW era of the camp.

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