NJ3266 : Pillbox near Kingston

taken 1 year ago, near to Kingston, Moray, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Pillbox near Kingston in this square
Pillbox near Kingston
Pillbox near Kingston
Now lower than the shingle bank. When built it would have had a clear line of fire across the beach. (PSG:e10059)
Innes Links, anti-invasion defences, Kingston to Lossiemouth :: NJ2967

The anti-invasion defences are of sufficient extent and historical importance that they are classified as a Scheduled Monument. They form the 'Right Sector' of the 'Defence Sector' along the Moray coast.

The primary element is a series of pillboxes linked by lines of anti-tank blocks which extend over a continuous length of just over 6km at the rear of the beach from near Kingston towards Lossiemouth. A further section of blocks and pillboxes to the west runs inland to the River Lossie near Coral Cottage. The line formerly extended further east to Kingston but this section has been destroyed by coastal erosion.

In addition to the line, there is a coastal battery close to the Boar's Head Rocks comprising two 6 gun emplacements with attendant searchlight platforms and the attendant engine houses, magazines and the accommodation camp based on an earlier fishing station.

Most of the pillboxes are now separated from the beach that they were intended to cover by the build-up of the 'Sea of Stones' shingle bank Link
which now overtops their intended field of fire.

The line was designated a Scheduled Monument in 2015, and details of it can be found here LinkExternal link and here LinkExternal link

In addition the site is recorded on the Defence of Britain section of the Archaeology Data Service which picks out a number of the individual structures. This can be downloaded in the form of a kml file which locates sites on Google Earth. LinkExternal link

For anyone who wants to got into even more detail, The Pillbox Study Group has created a similar file with individual references for each pillbox. These are the (PSG:....) references that appear in the descriptions for a number of the photos. LinkExternal link
(Warning: This is a very large file and will take some time to load in Google Earth. Do follow the instructions referred to!)

The Sea of Stones

The 'Sea of Stones' extends for several kilometres along the Moray Firth from Spey Bay towards Lossiemouth, and it is up to about 800 metres wide. It is the one of the largest shingle systems in Britain.

It is an extensive series of shingle (or rather, pebble and cobble) ridges parallel to the coastline. These ridges provide evidence that the land is rising relative to the sea. During the last Ice Age, Scotland was under many hundreds of metres of ice, and the weight of the ice was enough to press the crust of the Earth here down into the mantle. Since the ice melted about 10,000 years ago, the land has continued to rise very slowly, about 1.5 millimetres a year. Each of these ridges is a storm beach piled up by the sea, and then fossilised as the sea retreated and could no longer reach and rearrange successive ridges. What used to be the foot of the cliff is now some 15 metres above sea level.

Not only that, but the Sea of Stones is a brilliant place to see a dynamic coastline in action. During the Second World War a line of tank traps and pill boxes was built to protect the low-lying coast from enemy invasion. Now, just 7 decades later, the changes in the shingle have buried and then uncovered again the eastern end of the defences as the sea has encroached on the land, while at the western end some of the defensive line is now well inland in the forest, and the shingle has piled up so high that the pill boxes no longer have a view of the sea at all.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
NJ3266, 49 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Friday, 20 September, 2019   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 28 September, 2019
Geographical Context
Coastal  Derelict, Disused  Defence, Military 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 3237 6608 [10m precision]
WGS84: 57:40.7682N 3:8.1419W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 3238 6607
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Type 24 Pillbox  Anti-Tank Blocks  World War II  Innes Links  Scheduled Monument 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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