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Report - Camp No.21 – Cultybraggan - July 2015

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by The Lone Ranger, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Safety is paramount!
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    Camp No.21 – Cultybraggan

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    This was more a drive-by stroll rather than an epic explore; but an interesting site with plenty of history.

    History

    The site is home to a number of facilities, and was first used during World War II as a Prisoner of War (PoW) camp. Following the end of the war, it became an Army training area. In 1960, a Royal Observer Corps ROC nuclear monitoring post was located on the the site, and in 1990, an underground Regional Government Headquarters (RGH) was added.

    The camp ceased to be used by the military in 2004, when villagers in Comrie began a campaign to buy part of the camp in order to preserve it as a heritage attraction. The group took possession of the site in 2007. In late 2010, the trust held a fortnight of events aimed at informing businesses of its facilities in Cultybraggan, and attracting them to the area. At the start of 2011, the bunker which would have server the RGH was placed on the market, with an estimated value of up to £400,000. When built, the cost was in the region of £30 million, estimated to have risen to some £90 million in 2011.

    PoW Camp

    Built in 1941, PoW camp No 21 at Cultybraggan was designed to hold some 4,000 Category A prisoners. Considered to be the toughest, most committed and fanatical Nazi PoWs, these men had been classified as 'Black' by the British authorities. Many had been captured from the SS and the Afrika Corps. The camp had five separate compounds; one each for the Army, Navy, Air Force and SS prisoners, and one for officers. There was an associated camp two miles away at Cowden, now a housing development in Comrie. After the end of the war, five of the prisoners were hanged at Pentonville Prison, the largest multiple execution in 20th century Britain, after Wolfgang Rosterg, a German PoW known to be unsympathetic to the Nazi regime in Germany, was lynched there. The reason is not completely clear; some sources say he was killed because he was suspected of being a British spy, while others simply claim that he demonstrated insufficient zeal in his support for the Nazi Party, and was punished accordingly.

    Cultybraggan represents one of the most complete PoW camps remaining in the UK, with the many Nissen huts there having changed little since their original construction. This has led to part of the original camp being scheduled as an Ancient Monument.

    My Visit

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    Due to far too many safety brews the evening before I set off late in the day to head North. I had fancied visiting here since it cropped up on a Scottish local news report saying plans were being made to turn some of the huts into holiday accommodation.

    I didn’t really know what to expect with this place, whether access was possible and the current state of the huts, but had found out where they were located, and this I decided would be a good place to stretch my legs on the drive to Aberdeen.

    The camp is surrounded with a high fence so first impressions weren’t good! I wish I could give an epic tale of access; however a drive around to the main gate found it open and a parking space. Hut No. 1 just outside the gate was open so I stuck my head in to be greeted by a sign saying feel free to wander around the rest of the site. Most huts were in a reasonable state, about a dozen look as if they are being used by local companies, there’s even allotments these days. As time was short I didn’t venture to the ROC post and the RGV was not an option.

    So here’s a few pics from the drive by stroll.

    [​IMG]

    You soon realize that even though it is an impressive site and one of the most complete camp left in the UK, a Nissan hut is still a Nissan hut and there's not that much to them!

    Here's a photo from the internet showing what they would have looked like when occupied.

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    Here's a photo of what they look like today

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    Most of the huts are locked, a couple are falling down and surrounded by Harris fencing, as it was such a nice manicured site I left them alone as tbh I wouldn't have gained anything by going in those ones.

    [​IMG]

    One final shot of the many Nissan huts.

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    It was a nice enough stroll and glad I managed a visit before they start converting them, who knows what the ROC post is like. I'd run out of time to find out as a posh hotel and safety pint were calling out. Worth a visit if passing or Nissan huts float your boat.

    Cheers,

    TLR.​
     

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  2. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Interesting little find. Some nice sharp shots there :thumb
     
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  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Like these mate :thumb And never heard of Cultybraggan sounds like a made up name :)
     
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  4. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    very nice report, looks cool :thumb
     
  5. fatcakes

    fatcakes 28DL Member
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    that last shot is of the officers mess, many fantastic memories of that camp, many painful and quite a few hypothermia based ones too. The internet shot is after the last modernization, electric heater on the right wall, prior to that stoves in the middle which burned.... pretty much anything we could get our hands on in winter...
    The bunker is quite an explore, worked out of it a few times and if its still in the same state had its own BT telephone exchange still operational.
     
  6. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Brilliant report........thanks for sharin' :thumb
    Really interesting @fatcakes, they certainly don't look like the Hilton!! :confused:
     
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