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Elliot, North of A92, Former Royal Observer Corps Underground Monitoring Post

A Category C Listed Building in Arbirlot, Angus

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Latitude: 56.5491 / 56°32'56"N

Longitude: -2.6179 / 2°37'4"W

OS Eastings: 362105

OS Northings: 739851

OS Grid: NO621398

Mapcode National: GBR VV.27YL

Mapcode Global: WH8S7.RNK7

Entry Name: Elliot, North of A92, Former Royal Observer Corps Underground Monitoring Post

Listing Date: 21 December 2011

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400797

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51858

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Arbirlot

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim

Parish: Arbirlot

Traditional County: Angus

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1958. Underground rectangular bunker with 2 internal chambers, accessed via metal ladder in narrow entrance shaft and with ventilation and detecting structures above ground. Reinforced concrete.

ABOVE GROUND: low, square-plan green painted concrete entrance hatch on concrete plinth with base course and bevelled top edge. Concrete step to E. Square-plan ventilation shaft with louvred openings to N. Top opening metal entrance door leads to vertical shaft with wall mounted metal ladder, leading to bunker.

To W: low, capped louvred ventilation shaft. Cylindrical survey meter probe cover and bomb power indicator baffle plates.

INTERIOR: large rectangular plan monitoring room with smaller rectangular ancillary room. Smaller chamber with toilet. Timber door with moulded surround with vent to bottom leads to large monitoring room with rubber flooring and small metal piles leading to external recording meters. Some timber moulding surrounding notice board and wall mounted timber desk. Some surviving wall mounted communication equipment. Iron grill to floor below ladder.

Statement of Interest

This is a good surviving example of a Royal Observer Corps Underground Monitoring Post with some intact original features. ROC posts were a key part of the UK defence strategy during the Cold War and would have played a vital role in gathering information in the event of a nuclear attack. It was built in 1958 for the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation (UKWMO) to enable Britain to be prepared for nuclear attack and although 1,563 similar posts were built throughout the UK, many have since been demolished or destroyed. All the posts were constructed to the same specifications. The external instruments were designed to register the power and detonation position of a nuclear explosion and detect radio active fallout movement and levels. The readings from the instruments were gathered by the observers inside the bunker and relayed to the Headquarters site at Craigiebarns in Dundee. There, the readings would be collated with readings from other posts in the area to provide an overall picture.

The post is an important physical remnant from the Cold War, which was a significant period in British history during the second half of the 20th century. The Cold War, which ranged from 1945-1991, describes the relations between the USA and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. No physical conflict took place during the war. The relations between the two countries with their opposing ideologies, were constantly tense and there was an ongoing potential threat of a nuclear attack on Britain. The UKWMO was established in 1957 to provide both the civil and military authorities in UK with information during a nuclear attack. The bunkers were subsequently built throughout Britain, approximately 8 miles apart and at an estimated cost of £5000 each.

The Royal Observer Corps was a defence warning organisation, created originally to detect aircraft and it played an important role during the Second World War. In June 1955, the ROC was given an additional role of monitoring the effects of nuclear weapons. They were stood down in 1991 at the end of the Cold War.

The post was refurbished by its owner from 2004 -2011.

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