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Historic England Research Records

Coastal Defence/chain Home Low Station M28

Hob Uid: 1443707
Location :
Northumberland
Craster
Grid Ref : NU2547820372
Summary : The site of a Coastal Defence/Chain Home Low (CD/CHL) radar station at Craster. It was built by the British Army to detect approaching ships and aircraft during the Second World War. CD/CHL sites opened from spring 1941 and comprised a brick or concrete operations block with an aerial gantry mounted on the roof and a separate standby set house for the reserve power. Staff were billeted where possible, but some stations had a small layout of domestic hutting situated within one mile of the site. The site was upgraded in 1942 and fitted with a centimetric radar to become a Chain Home Extra Low station, called site K28. Aerial photography from 1972 shows two buildings surviving at NU 255 204 and these still appear on the latest 1999 Ordnance Survey vertical photography. Bases of Nissen huts providing accommodation and ancillary functions also survive. The site is referenced as being re-used as a prisoner of war camp for Italian and German prisoners at the end of the war and for a short time after.
More information : A Second World War radar station with associated barbed wire obstructions are visible as structures on air photographs, centred at NU 2546 2040. Only two buildings appear to be still extant on the latest 1999 Ordnance Survey vertical photography. (1)

A Coastal Defence/Chain Home Low station located at Craster (NU 264 203), called site M28. Coastal Defence/Chain Home Low (CD/CHL) radar stations were operated by the British Army to detect shipping and aircraft. CD/CHL sites opened from spring 1941 and comprised a brick or concrete operations block with an aerial gantry mounted on the roof and a separate standby set house for the reserve power. Staff were billeted where possible, but some stations had a small layout of domestic hutting situated within one mile of the site. From 1942 CD/CHL sites were combined with the Royal Air Force's Chain Home Low (CHL) sites to form one system of low-cover radar under the control of the RAF. Selected stations were upgraded with centimetric radars to become the K-series of Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) stations. This improvement in radar technology meant that fewer stations were needed to give the same coverage and as a result many CHL and CD/CHL stations not upgraded were closed. (2)

Aerial photography from 1972 shows that two buildings survive at the site at NU 255 204. (3)

Between 2003 and 2005, English Heritage's Archaeological Survey and Investigation Team carried out an investigation and Level 3 analytical field survey at 1:1 000 scale of a World War II Chain Home Low radar station at Craster, Northumberland. In addition to the analytical field survey, which encompassed the radar station complex, ancillary buildings and surrounding fieldworks, the project also comprised documentary research, rapid architectural investigation of the standing remains and the gathering of oral testimony from local people resident in Craster during World War II. The earthwork survey was carried out using a combination of survey-grade GPS and traditional taped survey techniques. The project at Craster was undertaken at the request of The National Trust, in order to gain an understanding of the nature, survival and extent of military activity here and to inform conservation and management of the site; this followed on from the archaeological investigation of Dunstanburgh Castle, also undertaken by the Archaeological Survey and Investigation Team. A full report, part of the Research Department Report Series, is available from the NMR, reference RDRS 43/2006. (4)

English Heritage, 'Dunstanburgh Castle', guidebook (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/SCOT/UK/121 3412 20-JUN-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 7. Acoustics and radar: England's early warning systems 1915-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 167
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Source Number : 3
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two radar stations
Source details :
Page(s) : 48
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : ENGLISH HERITAGE: CRASTER RADAR STATIONS SURVEY
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Source Number : 5
Source : Dunstanburgh Castle
Source details :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : World War II
Monument End Date : 1950
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Radar Station, Prisoner Of War Camp
Evidence : Structure, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : From 1941
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Radar Station, Barbed Wire Obstruction, Chain Home Station
Evidence : Structure, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Northumberland)
External Cross Reference Number : 5877
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NU 22 SE 25
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: CRASTER RADAR STATION
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CRASTER
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: NORTH EAST COAST NMP RAPID COASTAL ZONE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-03-01
End Date : 2008-07-22
Associated Activities : Primary, LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31