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HER Number:MDV63631
Name:Royal Air Force Gee Master Transmitting Station, Peek Hill

Summary

Royal Air Force Sharpitor was a Gee master Transmitting Station established in 1942. Part of the Gee system that allowed Royal Air Force (RAF) bomber crews to navigate at night by fixing their position on route to a target. steel transmitting aerial was erected and a new transmitter block was constructed. Steel transmitting aerial was erected and a new transmitter block was constructed in the 1950s but the site was closed down in 1970. Little remains to be seen except parch marks indicating the sites of buildings and remains of bricks, concrete blocks and a General Post Office (GPO) marker stone.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 556 700
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/459
  • Old SAM Ref: 24090
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY SIGNALLING SITE (World War II to XX - 1942 AD to 1970 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Site is clearly visible on the aerial photograph. Map object based on this source.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 156880, 18/3/2000 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

RAF Sharpitor, radio navigation master station in the South Western Gee chain.
No evaluation of the World War II radio navigation Gee chain is currently available and therefore it is not known whether this feature is of national importance. The operational element of this gee chain master station is included because they are known to be extremely rare and this one lies within a prehistoric field system of national importance.
There are a large number of concrete bases and earthworks associated with this radio station.


Wilkinson, B., 1996, RAF Sharpitor, 6-8 (Article in Serial). SDV224139.


Passmore, M., 2016, Royal Air Force Sharpitor. A Gee Master Transmitting Station South Western Gee Chain. Peek Hill, Dartmoor, 2-6 (Report - Assessment). SDV359575.

Royal Air Force Sharpitor was a Gee master Transmitting Station established in 1942. Part of the Gee system that allowed Royal Air Force (RAF) bomber crews to navigate at night by fixing their position on route to a target. The aircraft received signals from ground stations in different locations (master and slave stations) which was then plotted on to a chart and a fix computed. Sharpitor was worked with slave stations at RAF Worth Matravers (Dorset), RAF Sennen (Cornwall) and RAF Folly (Wales). RAF Trerew in Cornwall acted as a monitor.
The technical site was located just below the summit of Peek Hill and the domestic site was on the lower slopes of the hill adjacent to the public highway. Structures seen at the station included a timber transmitting tower and a number of Nissen huts which served as the guard-room, transmitter block, stand-by set (emergency generator), cookhouse, canteen and accommodation. The later was moved to RAF Harrowbeer in 1949.
35 RAF personnel are said to have been at the site, 12 of whom were technicians. They were later mostly replaced by civilian employees.
In the 1950s a steel transmitting aerial was erected and a new transmitter block was constructed. The site continued in use until 1970, after the Gee system was wound down in the late 1960s. The site mast was proposed for use for police communications but this never took place and it was removed in 1971 and a proposal for a young offenders centre was refused.
There is also a ROC underground monitoring post (SX55657003) which is thought to have been established in either 1957 or 1963. It was disbanded in 1991 and the bunker was later sealed.
Little can now be seen of the site, except parch marks indicating the sites of buildings and remains of bricks, concrete blocks and a General Post Office (GPO) marker stone.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Article in Serial: Wilkinson, B.. 1996. RAF Sharpitor. Dartmoor Magazine. 44. Unknown. 6-8.
  • Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 156880, 18/3/2000.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
  • Report - Assessment: Passmore, M.. 2016. Royal Air Force Sharpitor. A Gee Master Transmitting Station South Western Gee Chain. Peek Hill, Dartmoor. A4 + Digital. 2-6.

Associated Monuments

MDV63636Related to: BUILDING in the Parish of Walkhampton (Building)
MDV115068Related to: Nissen huts on Peek Hill (Building)
MDV72347Related to: Sharpitor, Royal Observer Corps post (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jun 11 2018 11:05AM