Work started today to repair potholes at Torry Battery

Road repairs at one of the best viewpoints in the city at historic Torry Battery have starting today, a month earlier than planned due to the mild winter.

The repairs which include potholes being filled in are part of a programme of works at the noted landmark which include information boards, seating and road crossing provision.

Aberdeen City Council Finance, Policy and Resources convener Councillor Willie Young said: “Torry Battery is an iconic monument on the city’s skyline and is part of our important heritage and story of the city.

“It is fantastic the work has started to repair the car park as part of the £193,050 agreed at committee and it’s being carried out before the start of the successful Dolphinwatch - the opportunity to spot dolphins and other marine life so near to the city centre is something that is quite unique to the UK, if not Europe.

“We look forward to Torry Battery welcoming more residents and visitors from around the world this year.”

Torry Point Battery was built in 1861 to defend the city and the harbour of Aberdeen, and superseded a number of older structures built in the 1490s as a response to a perceived threat of a sea-borne attack by English forces.

In 1895, the Battery was partially dismantled when the guns and mountings were returned to the ordnance stores at Keith, and it was thereafter used as a training ground for volunteer forces.

It was put back into action during WWI and WWII, and in 1941 its machine guns engaged a German plane which had dropped bombs Kinnaird Head at Fraserburgh, and it was later brought down in flames at St Cyrus.

After WWII, there was a housing shortage across the country and families began squatting at the site, and the City Council formalised the arrangements and the site housed a large number of families which had a great community spirit, it was said.

Despite a local campaign to demolish it at one point as mothers were in fear for their children who were playing at the Battery, the site received a facelift in the 1970s when the car park was laid out and the retaining walls reinsrated.

The Battery was listed as a Scheduled Monument in 2004 and today it is renowned not only for the fantastic view of Aberdeen’s beach and harbour, but also for the abundance of wildlife and in particular birds which are spotted in the area.

Torry Battery has been used for RSPB’s successful Dolphinwatch for the last four years and is set to return again this year.

Adam Ross, membership and engagement officer for RSPB Scotland and manages the Dolphinwatch project, said: “We are delighted that when we start the fifth year of the project this April, visitors will be able to enjoy some fantastic new facilities. This will provide a much better experience for all the visitors that come to see Aberdeen’s amazing dolphins, whether they are locals or from countries around the world, and is in keeping with the world-class wildlife attraction on offer.”

A total of £193,050 was agreed for the works to Torry Battery at last June’s Finance, Policy and Resources committee, after Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam suggested the move.