THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY
Photos by David Foord, James Towill and Steve Webster
|Dual signage welcomed visitors to this site, though I expect there has been some rebranding since these were taken.|
This view of the site entrance shows the Arqiva buildings immediately to the left (see below)
with the NGW compound further up on the right, nearer the mast.
Black Hill (or Blackhill) was the first ITA transmitting station to be built in Scotland, sited in North Lanarkshire near the BBC's Band I transmitter site at Kirk O'Shotts.
The original 750ft mast entered programme service for Scottish Television on 31 August 1957, but was soon replaced by a new 1000ft mast from July 1961 in order to provide improved coverage.
The site was then chosen to carry 625-line services, in preference to Kirk O'Shotts, and consequently became the hub of the UHF transmitter network for Central Scotland. In the late 1970s, along with Croydon, Emley Moor and St Hilary, Black Hill was designated as one the four new IBA Regional Operation Centres (ROCs) for the remote monitoring and maintenance of unattended transmitters. The Black Hill ROC eventually came into operation in 1981, serving all IBA transmitters in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This role continued under NTL.
The site transmits all 5 terrestrial television channels, with Channel 5 analogue operating at the same power as the other channels (500kW max ERP), from an aerial only marginally lower.
When the BBC upgraded their FM radio transmissions for Central Scotland to signals with mixed polarisation the mast at Kirk O'Shotts was unable to carry the new aerials which were required, so these transmissions were transferred to Black Hill.
The final photo, below shows
the Black Hill site with Kirk O'Shotts visible in the distance on the right
of the picture:
Blackhill DSO >
Black Hill coverage area maps
Craigkelly | Kirk O'Shotts
Back to TX Gallery index | TX main index