Site 1. Coastal Artillery Search Light Emplacement

The Coastal Artillery Search Light or CASL was a powerful searchlight similar to those used to find enemy aircraft, but rather than shining into the sky they were pointed to shine out across the sea to spot enemy ships. They were housed in protective emplacements such as the one that remains at this site.

Artists impression of a CASL emplacement with 90cm search light
Artists impression of a CASL emplacement with 90cm search light.

These CASL emplacements were fitted with 90cm Mk.V searchlights which were in plentiful supply during the Second World War. Running at 90 volts direct current and drawing around 120 amps from the Lister generators used to power them, these searchlights utilised this near 11 Kilowatt power consumption to throw out a stabbing pencil beam of light equating to just short of two billion candle power to a distance of 5 miles (8km).

This CASL was part of a Royal Artillery Coast Battery which was sited here during the war. The battery was equipped with two 6 inch (15cm) Mk.XI ex-naval guns of pre-First World War vintage that were removed from scrapped warships, and were housed in a pair of gun emplacements located just behind you, below Broadhaven. The CASLs were used to illuminate and

Coastal Artillery Battery protecting Wick Bay and Harbour
Coastal Artillery Battery protecting Wick Bay and Harbour.
Searchlight installed in CASL emplacement
90cm searchlight installed in a CASL emplacement.

guide the guns onto enemy U-Boats or surface raiders attempting to attack the strategically important harbour at Wick. The last remnants of the battery were removed in 2002 to make way for a new housing scheme.

When not in use during the day the CASL emplacement had wooden shutters to protect the searchlight from the salt air and elements during storms and bad weather, especially on such an exposed stretch of coastline.


CASL Emplacement No.1 overlooking Wick Bay
CASL Emplacement No.1 overlooking Wick Bay. WARNING! There is no safe path down to theCASL and the building is in a dangerous condition. Anyone who attempts to go down tothe CASL or enter the building doesso entirely at their own risk.