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North Queensferry, Carlingnose Studios

A Category A Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0116 / 56°0'41"N

Longitude: -3.3908 / 3°23'26"W

OS Eastings: 313381

OS Northings: 680720

OS Grid: NT133807

Mapcode National: GBR 21.T65V

Mapcode Global: WH6S9.W5H9

Plus Code: 9C8R2J65+JM

Entry Name: North Queensferry, Carlingnose Studios

Listing Name: Carlingnose Studios (Former Carlingnose Battery) Including Walls and Outbuildings

Listing Date: 13 February 2013

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 401357

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52012

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Parish: Inverkeithing

Traditional County: Fife

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North Queensferry


1901-1902; conversion to office studios, 2006. Former twin gun battery with significant pre-war and WWI military role, and continued military use during WWII. Strategically situated on high ground near Forth (Rail) Bridge with long range views across Firth of Forth towards Edinburgh. Reinforced concrete gun emplacements with locker recesses and circular holdfasts; semi-circular aprons; access stairs. Large lightwell courtyard (collecting pit) to immediate W of emplacements with cast-iron shell hoist to NE corner. Further lightwell courtyard to N, both accessing subterranean, brick-lined magazines, shell and cartridge stores.

INTERIORS: exposed red brick. Barrel-vaulted magazines (running N to S) with ventilation recesses. Remains of painted signage above doorways including 'Shifting Lobby', 'Shell Store' and 'Cartridge Store'. Corridor between N and S magazines blocked to form separate studio spaces (2006); corridor to N houses metal and timber shell winch. S magazine: glazed timber infills to form entrance vestibule and studio/office space with intergrated kitchen area.

Room to N wall of principal lightwell: painted mural (circa 1940) depicting panoramic view of the Firth as seen from the battery. To W wall: large subterranean store room with segmental-arched openings and rib-vaulted ceiling; passageway to NW corner linking (partially subterranean) former services and latrine block with narrow lightwell and access stair to W.

WALLS AND OUTBUILDINGS: reinforced concrete protective wall extends to N (breached to form residential access). Square-plan, flat-roofed observation post (originally housing Depression Range Finder equipment) to N side of breach. Two further flat-roofed outbuildings to W of each gun emplacement.

Predominantly timber framed sash and case windows. Cast-iron railings. Later, metal access stairs to lightwells.

Statement of Interest

The twin gun battery at Carlingnose, North Queensferry, is an outstanding survival of pre-First World War coastal defences in Scotland. Operational from 1902, the battery was an early and important part of an inner line of defence across the Firth of Forth. Strategically located on high ground beside the Forth (Rail) Bridge, it served in a precautionary capacity to defend the mercantile interests of the Forth from the threat of damage raids by enemy cruisers and torpedo-boats. Naval chiefs also feared the Forth Bridge, completed in 1890, would be a natural target for marine attack.

From 1900 onwards, the threat to Britain's naval supremacy from Germany was reflected in a co-ordinated programme of fixed defence at key strategic points along the UK coast line. In 1903 the Firth of Forth was officially classified as a Principal Naval Base. During 1907 a mock attack on the Forth was carried out by the Royal Navy's first submarine squadron to ensure it could be adequately defended. Construction of the Naval Dockyards at nearby Rosyth subsequently began in earnest in 1908.

Carlingnose Battery remained fully operational during the early years of the First World War. When Rosyth Dock was completed and a further naval anchorage was established east of the rail bridge in 1916, its two six-inch Mark VII guns were relocated to the Pettycur Battery near Kinghorn further east along the Fife coast. As part of this war-time strengthening of the inner, middle and outer lines of defence, additional batteries were also established on the Forth islands of Inchkeith, Inchcolm and Inchmickery.

Carlingnose Battery was modified in subsequent years to meet changing needs and remained in active use as a fire control post throughout the inter-war period. During the Second World War, it served as a station for Polish troops before passing out of military use in the 1950s. Its magazines were converted for use as studio/office space for local business in 2006.

The panoramic mural inside the building (including a depiction of the Forth Bridge) adds considerably to the socio-historic interest of the building. It is thought to have been painted by Polish nationals stationed at the battery during the Second World War, but may prove to have an earlier war-time provenance.

Previously included in the Schedule of Monuments (index no. 82857).

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