HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Longley Lane Sector Operations Centre

Hob Uid: 1489507
Location :
Lancashire
Preston
Whittingham
Grid Ref : SD5410036500
Summary : Longley Lane was a bunker complex built by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. It consisted of three bunkers- an operations room, a filter room and a communications centre. During the war the complex acted as 9 Group Operations Centre Fighter Command. In 1950 the site became a Sector Operations Centre (SOC) as part of the Rotor programme to modernise the United Kingdom's radar defences. It directed airborne aircraft and interceptions for Fighter Command based on information received from radar stations. The SOC was short lived and closed September 1957. The filter block bunker was later used as the Preston Armed Forces Headquarters and as a military firing range. It has been empty since 1992. The communications bunker is now derelict and used as a vehicle store. The operations bunker was adapted for use as the SOC, and in the 1960s was extended and used as a Royal Observer Corps Group Headquarters. A prefabricated building was constructed alongside the bunker for administration. The administration block is now used as a veterinary practice, although the bunker itself is empty.
More information : The United Kingdom was divided into six sectors for air defence purposes. Each was controlled by a Sector Operations Centre (SOC). The SOCs were located within purpose-built underground R4 bunkers, apart from the centres at Box and Longley Lane that were housed in wartime underground operations blocks. The interior of the SOCs featured an operations room that occupied the full height of the bunker, with information was displayed on the wall at one end and a large table display on the floor. Control cabins were situated on other three walls overlooking the displays. The upper level cabins were occupied by senior officers and the middle level cabins by the ground executive, which controlled the radar, and the air executive, which directed the airborne aircraft and interceptions. Also contained within the bunkers were rest rooms, lavatories, a kitchen, duty rooms, and rooms for telephone equipment, teleprinters and generators.

The Sector Operations Centre at Longley Lane was located at SD 541 365. The domestic site was situated at RAF Warton and the stand-by set house co-located at the technical site. (1-2)

Aerial photography from 1976 shows an operations block and guardhouse in good condition. Several aerial bases are visible. The site is noted as a WT station on OS map. (3)

Longley (or Langley) Lane was a bunker complex built by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. It consisted of three bunkers positioned a few hundred yards apart. One was the operations room, one a filter room and the third a communications centre. During the war the complex acted as 9 Group Operations Centre Fighter Command. In 1950 the site became a Sector Operations Centre, however it was short lived and closed in circa 1956.

The filter block bunker was later used as the Preston Armed Forces Headquarters and as a military firing range. It has been empty since 1992. The communications bunker is now derelict and used as a vehicle store. The operations bunker was adapted for use as the Sector Operations Centre, and in the 1960s as a Royal Observer Corps Group Headquarters. A prefabricated building was constructed alongside the bunker for administration. The administration block is now used as a veterinary practice, although the bunker itself is empty. (4)

The centre closed September 1957 and became occupied and gradually extended by the Royal Observer Corps. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Cold War: Building for Nuclear Confrontation 1946-1989
Source details :
Page(s) : 103-104
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England. Volume XI.2. The Cold War (Appendices)
Source details :
Page(s) : 163
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Twentieth Century Military Recording Project: Cold War Rotor Stations
Source details :
Page(s) : 40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Subterranea Britannica, 1996-2003. Site name: PRESTON Langley Lane <> Updated on 07-SEP-2003 [Accessed on 29-JAN-2009]
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunker: The passive defence of the Western world during the Cold War
Source details :
Page(s) : 105
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : 1950s
Monument End Date : 1959
Monument Start Date : 1950
Monument Type : Operations Block, Guardhouse
Evidence : Subterranean Feature, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Operations Block, Bunker
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : 1960s to 1992
Monument End Date : 1992
Monument Start Date : 1960
Monument Type : Royal Observer Corps Site
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 53 NW 29
External Cross Reference Notes :

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