Black Hill site

Transmitter sites in Scotland

Black Hill site

Transmitter sites in Scotland

In August 2012, I spent a couple of days in Scotland. My hotel was in Bellshill, about midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It must have been the hottest week of the year, I remember many American guests in the hotel complaining about missing air-conditioning!

It was fine weather for hiking and roaming around the country site, so even though I thought of visiting Glasgow and Edinbrugh, I ended up hiking, finding some nature spots and following that sight from the hotel: the Black Hill transmitter site.

the Black Hill site from my hotel

Black Hill transmitter site

The trouble is that transmitter site can seem quite close due to their high masts, and the easiest route is not always a straight line. Nevertheless, I found the Black Hill transmitter quite easily and arrived at the gate:

Arqiva Black Hill Sign

When I visited the station, it was apparent that there were two masts (a few more if you count the microwave masts. It turned out that there is a ‘sister’ site in Kirk o’Shotts, quite near, and it appears from this vatage point that the masts belong to the same system. However, the latter is a BBC site, whilst this is an IBA site. At least, originally, now both complexes are run by Arqiva.

Both masts from quite far

Road towards the site

In front of the gate

Good view of both masts

Antenna arrays for DirectView - digital terrestrial television

Good view of Kirk o’Shotts

Transmitter building

And of course microwave links in every direction

This picture shows quite well why this is a good site for a transmitter.

View towards Glasgow

You can see the outskirts of Glasgow - reception must be very good there.

Dechmont Hill ILR

I also traced down a commercial station’s medium wave site. It carries Radio Clyde on 1152 kHz. With 3.2 kW, it’s fairly high powered for an ILR station on mediumwave, it has a directional array to protect other stations from interference with a radiation pattern mostly northwest. The same frequency is also used around Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, which is obviously to the south 😄.

You can see the station from quite far, still a challenge to actually reach it!

It’s quite near Cathkin Landfill Site, the map said

Getting nearer

Picture taken through the fence

Transmitter building - looks as if it has seen better days

Close-up of transmitter building

STL Link on UHF, interestingly enough mounted on a rotator. Also a camera - I saw on another site that there had been vandalism at this site resulting in a collapsed mast, this must be the way to prevent it (nothing happened when I was taking pictures though!)

If you like this overview, don’t hesitate to take a look here to see some over the other sites I have photographed over the years.

All pictures are available in full resolution here:

Wian Stienstra
ICT, Strategy, Marketing and More
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