Hoxa Batteries, South Ronaldsay
Hoxa Head boasts substantial military remains from WWI and WWII. In 1915 four 4 inch Quick Firing guns were installed here, to match those already in place at Stanger Head, Flotta, and a boom stretched between the two headlands. In 1916 a new battery was constructed, armed with two 6 inch Quick Firing guns capable of covering Switha Sound. The 6 inch emplacements were built over in WWII but the 4 inch emplacements and magazines can still be seen.
In the months preceding WWII, work began on a number of sites in Orkney to build batteries that would be ready when war came. Hoxa, armed with two 6 inch BL Mk 7 guns, was ready for action in September 1939, and its primary role was to prevent enemy vessels entering Scapa Flow through Hoxa Sound. Once again, it operated in tandem with the battery at Stanger inFlotta, with a surface boom betwen them. Placed into Care and Maintenance in 1943, the battery was maintained until 1948
when the huts from the camp were sold off. Many of the battery buildings are still visible, including the gun emplacements, the magazines and the Battery Observation Post.
Overlooking one of the main approaches to Scapa Flow, the extensive site at Hoxa Head boasts remains from both World Wars. Gun and searchlight emplacements as well as observation towers can be seen. Although privately owned, visitors are not discouraged but do respect the site and close all gates as you pass. There is a good walk arund the site, the views are splendid and there is muc hwildlife to be seen. To find out more about this site log on to http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/9622/details/south+ronaldsay+hoxa+head+balfour+battery