Orkney was the main base for the Royal Navy’s Fleet in both World Wars, and Ness Battery was a crucial part of the defences of the western approaches to Scapa Flow, one of the world’s finest anchorages.

In WWI Ness Battery was one of three batteries covering the Hoy Mouth from the north side. All were dismantled and the guns scrapped in the 1920s, but traces of the WWI battery are still to be seen today, and feature on the tour.

In WWII the site became a coast defence battery once more, armed with two 6-inch calibre guns. It housed a Fire Command, controlling all six batteries defending Hoy Sound.

The guns remained at Ness Battery until 1955, and the site was used by both Regular and Territorial Army units for training until 2001, when the site was sold by the Ministry of Defence to Orkney Islands Council, the present owner.


Some useful Orkney and wartime-related websites:

odin.uk.com Orkney Defence Interest Network
orkneyuncovered.co.uk Wartime-themed tours around Orkney – be sure to ask them to bring you to see us at Ness Battery on your trip!
hmstern.co.uk HMS TERN, WWII airfield in Orkney – tours available
orkneylibrary.org.uk Orkney Library and Archive
rcahms.gov.uk Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
crashsiteorkney.com Aviation Research Group Orkney & Shetland
www.iwm.org.uk Imperial War Museum


This Great Harbour: Scapa Flow by WM Hewison
ISBN 0907618111

Orkney at War: Defending Scapa Flow Volume 1: WWI by Geoffrey Stell
ISBN 9781902957487

Scapa Flow: The Defences of Britain’s Great Fleet Anchorage 1914-45 by Angus Konstam
ISBN 978184603366 7

Orkney Coast Batteries 1914-1956 by Jeff Dorman
Publ The Orcadian