Wee Fea Naval Communication and Operational Centre, Walls

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Category
AT RISK
Name of Building
Wee Fea Naval Communication and Operational Centre
Other Name(s)
Address
Walls
Locality
Postcode
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
5689
Listing Category
B
OS Grid Ref
ND 29399 94456
Location Type
Rural
HS Reference No
48378

Description

Large concrete, rectangular-plan World War II communications and signal station. Built into bank to NW with ditch between building and hill to NW and SW.NW ELEVATION: entrance door to left (missing timber forestair). Porthole opening to right flank; 2 more to right. Door set back to far left; stairs lead up to door. SW ELEVATION: small square window. External piping below.SE ELEVATION: numerous porthole openings; window to far left; ventilation slits. Advanced 3-sided section to right; windows in each face; ventilation slits. Window to far right.NE ELEVATION: 3 windows. Forestair to far right leading to door in right return.Flat roof; remains of signal mounting on roof, brick water tank and concrete structures.INTERIOR: stripped interior apart from one boiler.

During the World Wars, Lyness was strategically important due to its position at the entrance to Scapa Flow. Lyness formed the hub of the Royal Navy's base in Scapa Flow. The centre was very important in the success of the defence of Scapa Flow. According to Hewison; 'The Communications Centre was the culminating point in this vital sphere of wartime activity at Scapa', enabling direct communication by telephone and by radio telephone to all defence sectors in the Scapa perimeter. Using Morse code, light signalling, wireless and telecommunications, the Centre, with Stanger Head (also run by the Navy), controlled the shipping at Scapa. All main fleet buoys in the anchorage were connected by underwater cable to the Centre and then to the outside world. In connection with the nautical theme, the windows are shaped like portholes. Hewison illustrates how active this Centre was; staff numbers rose from 80 in November 1939 to 270 in 1944, 230 of them WRNS (Women's Royal Naval Service), who handled 8,800 phone calls a day in 1943 and 1944. The Wee Fea Centre is a rare survival and a conspicuous landmark. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
1943
Architects

Category of Risk and Development History

Condition
Poor
Category of Risk
Low
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
10/9/2013
Development History
10 September 2013: External inspection finds this prominent building has sufferred from weathering but remains intact. Render is missing in places and much dampness is evident to walls. Rainwater goods are mostly broken or missing causing water staining. The steel window frames and doors are heavily corroded or missing. The condition of the flat roof could not be ascertained. The complex is disused.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01856 873535

Availability

Current Availability
Unknown
Appointed Agents
Price
Occupancy
Vacant
Occupancy Type
N/A
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership
Unknown

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Bibliography
Online Resources
Classification
Military Installations
Original Entry Date
05-MAR-14
Date of Last Edit
05/03/2014