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RAF BAWDSEY

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CHAIN HOME EXTRA LOW STATION K162, CHAIN HOME STATION CH26
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An Air Ministry Research Station to develop Radio Direction Finding equipment (radar) was established at Bawdsey Manor (see record 879544 for details of the house itself) in 1936. In 1937 a training school was established and the station became the first operational Chain Home radar station in 1937. Chain Home stations commonly comprised transmission and receiver blocks, four 240ft timber receiver aerial towers, four 350ft steel transmitter aerial towers that stood on concrete pads, and other buildings such as dispersed accommodation huts, guard huts and standby set houses. During the Battle of Britain, the facilities at Bawdsy were important in providing early warning within the key 11 Group RAF Fighter Command sector, specifically for the southern North Sea and the Channel approaches. It also gave radar cover to help protect coastal convoys. The site was upgraded in 1942 and fitted with centimetric radar to become a Chain Home Extra Low station, called site K162. The site remained operational until 1952 when it was closed and refitted as part of the Rotor programme. The new station opened in 1953 to 1954 to the north of the Second World War site and was continually refurbished and remained operational until 1975. The site was then used as a Bloodhound MKII missile site (record number 1309161) until July 1990. The site was included in the English Heritage Cold War Project. A survey in 1995 found structures and features surviving from all of the Radar Station's phases.

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