The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme


Houton Battery, Orphir


During WWI, whilst the batteries at Stromness covered the outer reaches of Hoy Sound, guns at Houton and Clestrain dominated the inner entrance to Scapa Flow. At the start of the war a Port War Signal Station was established, as well as a boom defence stretching to Scad Head in Hoy. Initial armament of the battery comprised two 12-pounder Quick Firing guns, installed in September 1914. These were replaced in spring 1915 by four 4 inch Quick Firing guns in two adjacent batteries, and in 1915 these were supplemented by two American 6 inch guns.  
In 1939 the signal station at Houton was reactivated, and a new battery built, containing two 12-pounder Quick Firing guns. A boom and a controlled minefield were installed, and three searchlights down at the shore illuminated the Bring Deeps. Operational from 1940, Houton Battery was placed in Care and Maintenance after the war, and finally abandoned in 1950.
The visible remains all date from WWII - gun emplacements (with distinctive 'butterfly' shape roofs), magazines, the Battery Observation Posts, three searchlight emplacements and fragments of the boom can all be seen.