Stirling's Finest Hour
Stirling's Finest Hour: D-Day Atlantic Wall, Sheriffmuir, Dunblane
If you're interested in World War II, just north of Dunblane there is an impressive remnant of the allies' preparation for the D-day landings. In the summer of 1943, at the Whitestone Army ranges in Sherrifmuir, British 3rd Division built a training area for the planned invasion of Normandy. This complex of replicated German defences survives - complete with shell fire and demolition charge damage - and you can still see the large defensive wall and ditch, trench networks and 2 concrete bunkers. Atlantic Wall
The replica Atlantic Wall stands to a height of 3 meters and runs for 86 meters in length. The front of the wall has been visibly damaged by weapon fire, including a spectacular 4 meter breach in the wall. In front of the wall is a 4 meter wide flat-bottomed anti-tank ditch.
Across the UK five of these replicas were made and Stirling's one is the largest and most complete! Torbuck shelters
To the east of the wall is a barracks centre consisting of a Torbuck Shelter with a sunken chamber and two gun turrets; Torbuck shelters were used as an integral part of many of the Atlantic Wall defences. Continuing further east a command centre which may have been octagonal in plan was accessed from a trench system to the south. A series of trenches can be found throughout the training area, some of which were used in training for World War I.
You can find the Atlantic Wall defences by following the back road towards Blackford from Dunblane.
Please note that the replica complex is on private land and that must always follow the Country Code, please also watch your eyes on the iron reinforcements in the concrete!
If you know anyone involved in the construction of the Atlantic Wall defences, get in touch with Murray the Stirling Council archaeologist.