J5583 : Observation Post at Orlock

taken 10 years ago, near to Groomsport, Northern Ireland

Observation Post at Orlock
Observation Post at Orlock

Observation Post at Orlock Point. This dates from at least WW2 but is possibly older. Lighthouse Island and Mew Island can just be seen through the bars - see J6086 : Mew Island Lighthouse

The following information regarding Orlock's defensive role during the first half of the 20th Century is taken from 'The Bell' - see LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link )

World War 2 and Orlock Point:

Orlock Point was first identified as an important situation for military defence of Belfast Lough in 1912 when it was established as a Port War Signal Station. At the outbreak of W.W.2 an electrically controlled cable was laid across the Lough between Black Head and Orlock Point with the purpose of detecting submarines as they passed over it. Orlock was also the command post for the Royal Navy Extended Defence Officer whose duty was to control an electrically operated minefield also laid across the entrance to the lough. A cable can still be seen stretching out from Sandeel Bay. On the rocks can be
seen the remains of two brick artillery search light enclosures which once had armoured glass shutters. Two 6 inch (152 mm.) BL guns were mounted at Orlock, both protected by concrete gun houses. One of these gun houses has been adapted as a private residence with the naval PVII mounting surviving as a feature on the patio. The other gun house has been removed or engorged by
a large new dwelling although the ammunition house remains as a garage. The generator house which provided power for the whole station was hidden behind a rock face below the gun houses. It was demolished a little while ago as it had become an attraction for riff-raff.

Orlock Point and the four other defence batteries around Belfast Lough were the only coast defences in the army where women were employed in operational roles. This arrangement had been agreed between the OC Fixed Command in Northern Ireland and the senior ATS officer in Northern Ireland. As it happened they were man and wife. The purpose of the arrangement was to release men for other duties elsewhere but it also relieved the boredom experienced by men on these stations by providing opportunities for mixed ‘recreational’ activities as related in an anecdote by Sir Charles Brett in his book ‘Buildings of North County Down’.
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J5583, 27 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Sunday, 29 July, 2007   (more nearby)
Submitted
Monday, 30 July, 2007
Category
Wartime relics   (more nearby)
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 55915 83746 [1m precision]
WGS84: 54:40.6597N 5:35.0124W
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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