Site Records

Site Name: Guernsey - Torteval Monitoring Post

Rue des Poetelettes
OS Grid Ref: WV24807560

RSG site visit 18th August 2002

[Source: Nick Catford]

The original Torteval Post occupied the former German 2 level command post of Batterie Generaloberst Dollmann on the cliff top overlooking Gull Rock. This is a distinctive two level semi-sunken bunker with a square roof raised on pillars above the rangefinder position.

The site was abandoned in the late 1980's following persistent vandalism and a new post opened in one of the islands four telephone network junction bunkers.

The original post
The original post (click)

These bunkers were built on the route of the network of telephone cables linking all the major fortification sites on the island. They also acted as repair centres for field telephones and equipment.

The single level surface bunker is located at he rear of a large compound 75 yards west of Rue des Poetelettes but only accessible through the garden of a private house. There is a mast on the roof but no probes and sensors as they are located on the former BBC TV mast at Pleinmont with the data being relayed to the bunker by telephone. The monitoring instrument is also located at the BBC mast.

Photo: The Torteval Monitoring Post
Photo: The Torteval Monitoring Post
Photo by Nick Catford

There are two doors at the front of the bunker, one gives access to the former generator and battery rooms which now house a new generator to provide power for the bunker.

The other door, at one end of the building passes through the German airlock and entrance defence room into the old crew room, the largest room in the bunker. This is still used as the recreation and dining area but is sparsely furnished with a trestle table, chairs and a Calor gas cooker.

Photo: German writing and the old emergency exit tunnelPhoto: German writing and the old emergency exit tunnel
Photo: German writing and the old emergency exit tunnel
Photo by Nick Catford

Where possible German artefacts have been left in place, there are numerous signs around the walls which have not been painted over and some original ventilation trunking and overpressure valves. There was an emergency escape shaft in this room. The entrance door is still in place but the shaft is blocked at the surface.

The montitoring room
The monitoring room (click)
On the far side of the room as door leads into the 20' X 12' monitoring room (formerly the German equipment room). This post has been completely unmanned since 2000 following the death of the caretaker and it only contains a long table, a telephone socket and a coaxial cable and plug. In the event of an emergency further equipment would be brought in to bring the post up to an operational standard. There are also chairs and some more German ventilation trunking and signs.

Photo: German Switchgear Room

Photo: German Switchgear Room
Photo by Nick Catford

At the far side of the monitoring room a door leads into a long thin room. This was the telephone switchgear room. All the original switchgear is still intact on one wall and is still used for the incoming and outgoing telephone feeds into the bunker. In the event of an emergency the monitoring post would be manned but as the instrument is located at the BBC mast the post is generally unmanned.

Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford, Keith Ward and Robin Cherry.

[Source: Nick Catford]

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Last updated 28th August 2002

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