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Historic England Research Records

Chain Home Station Ch24

Hob Uid: 1476819
Location :
Essex
Tendring
Great Bromley
Grid Ref : TM1020026100
Summary : The site of a Chain Home radar station at Great Bromley. It was built between 1936 and 1939 to provide early warning of enemy aircraft approaching the Thames Estuary. During the Battle of Britain the facilities at Bromley were of importance for that reason, Aerial photography from 1980 shows that the site was divided into two distinct components- that of the transmitter and the receiver. The receiver site was located at TM 102 261 and contained an earth-protected operations block, a full set of four aerial bases, and over 7 ancillary buildings. An emergency receiver block and aerial base was located at TM 1042 2617. The transmission site was located at TM 104 264. It also contained an earth-protected operations block and a full set of four aerial bases, one of which still retains its mast. A standby set house, still with its earthen mound, is visible in the southeast corner of the site. A full set of ancillary buildings (at least ten) remain. An emergency transmission block and aerial base is visible at TM 1066 2050. The station has also been used as a bomber navigation headquarters and monitoring station (1941-42), a radio and TV testing site for Marconi's Chelmsford, and a Police and Fire Brigade radio aerials.
More information : A Royal Air Force Chain Home station located at Great Bromley (TM 102 261), called CH24. 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. From 1940 defensive measures were installed at radar stations, including Light Anti-Aircraft (LAA) gun emplacements, pill boxes, road blocks and air raid shelters. NGR given is for receiver block. LAA emplacements were located at Vulnerable Points (VP). At Great Bromley they were: VP 128 (1) at TM 104 272; VP 128 (2) at TM 112 26; VP 128 (3) at TM 106 255; and VP 128 (4) at TM 098 260. They were established by 20-MAY-1942. (1)

A Chain Home station at Great Bromley. Aerial photography from 1980 shows that the site was divided into two distinct parts- the transmission and the receiver. The receiver part was located at TM 102 261 and contained a well maintained, earth-protected operations block, a full set of four aerial bases, and 7+ ancillary buildings. An emergency receiver block and aerial base was located at TM 1042 2617. The transmission part was located at TM 104 264. It also contains an earth-protected operations block and a full set of four aerial bases, one of which retains its mast. A standby set house, still with its earthen mound, is visible in the southeast corner of the site. A full set of ancillary buildings (at least ten) remain. An emergency transmission block and aerial base is visible at TM 1066 2050. (2)

Aerial photograph referenced in source 2. (3)

RAF Bromley Chain Home Station lay within the crucial 11 Group RAF Fighter Command sector during the Battle of Britain and provided long range early warning for the eastern approches to the Thames Estuary during the battle. (4)

According to feedback received via PastScape, the transmission site was built in 1939. There were also two small Buried Reserve sites (and wooden towers) outside the station fences, which are thought to have now disappeared, and which were built in 1941 (towers and underground rooms) and 1942 (sets and aerials). The station has also been used as a bomber navigation headquarters and monitoring station (1941-42), a radio and TV testing site for Marconi's Chelmsford, and a Police and Fire Brigade radio aerials. (5)

For a detailed history of this radar station please see the source, a copy of which is kept in the library at the National Monuments Record. (6)

The Imperial War Museum holds papers and sound recordings of former RAF Great Bromley Personnel recounting their experiences of life at that installation. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 7. Acoustics and radar: England's early warning systems 1915-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 59,161
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Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two radar stations
Source details :
Page(s) : 74-75
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Source Number : 3
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : MAL/80031/188 09-OCT-1980
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Source Number : 4
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Royal Air Force 2005 'Battle of Britain: 11 Group' <> [Accessed 14-JUL-2010]
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Feedback received via PastScape 02-APR-2011
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Source Number : 6
Source : 'A.M.E.S. 24 (Air Ministry Experimental Station 24): The Pylons at Great Bromley', by Julian Foynes
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Source Number : 7
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Imperial War Museum collections: catalogue numbers 6512, 30996, 21639
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : After 1942
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1942
Monument Type : Radio Station
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Built between 1936 to 1939
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1936
Monument Type : Chain Home Station, Radar Station
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Chain Home Station, Radar Station
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : 1941-42
Monument End Date : 1942
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Radar Station, Military Headquarters
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TM 12 NW 35
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1476838
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31