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Historic England Research Records

Acoustical Research Station

Hob Uid: 464039
Location :
Kent
Shepway
Hythe
Grid Ref : TR1366534444
Summary : The site of an Acoustical Research Station built by the Air Ministry in 1922 to develop methods of detecting aircraft using amplified sound, building on work carried out in First World War. Two concrete sound mirrors represent the final stage of these experiments. The first mirror built in early 1923 was a vertically-mounted, reinforced concrete slab with a central shallow dish 20ft (6.1m) in diameter and a frontal plinth mounting for a microphone stand. The second built in 1929 was a mirror with a larger, deeper curved bowl of 30ft (9.1m) diameter. Sound mirrors were superceded by radar in the 1930s. The research station was closed in 1939 and the mirrors used during the Second World War to test explosive charges. In 1994 the foundations of the station could still be traced, the 20ft mirror had collapsed face down , but the 30ft mirror was still standing but decaying.
More information : TR 13823443 Acoustical Research Station and Sound Mirrors at the Roughs, Hythe.
The Acoustical Research Station was built by the Air Ministry in late 1922. It was established to develop methods of detecting aircraft using amplified sound, building on work carried out in the First World War. The two concrete 'Sound Mirrors' at Hythe represent the final stage of these experiments. The establishment was closed in late 1939 and the two mirrors used during the war to test explosive charges. In 1994, the foundations of the research station and part of the approach road could be traced. The '20 foot' mirror, built in late 1922, had collapsed on the ground face downwards. The '30 foot' mirror, built in August 1929, remained, although the concrete was slowly decaying. (1-2)

The bowl of the 30-foot reflector used a metal framework to support the bowl which was shaped in concrete. A photogrammetric survey was undertaken by was undertaken by English Heritage in June and August 2005. (3-4)

SOUND MIRROR. SRF, with 2 photographs. SRF. The Roughs. Bowl Type. Recorder- C. Urquhart, and Goodson. (5)

An Acoustical Research Station and associated sound mirrors located at Hythe (TR 134 338). The first mirror built in early 1923 was a vertically-mounted, reinforced concrete slab with a central shallow dish 20ft (6.1m) in diameter and a frontal plinth mounting for a microphone stand. The second built in 1929 was a mirror with a larger, deeper curved bowl of 30ft (9.1m) diameter. Sound mirrors were superceded by radar in the 1930s. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) Rec Form
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Scarth, R.N, Mirrors By The Sea, An Account of the Hythe Sound Mirror System, 1995, Hythe Civic Society. p.1, 4, 37, 38.
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Source Number : 3
Source : Kent's Defence Heritage
Source details : Gazetteer Part 1: KD153
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Research News: Newsletter of the English Heritage Research Department, 3, Spring 2006, 41
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Source Number : 5
Source : Migrated Defence of Britain Project database record originally compiled from various sources
Source details : The two databases developed by the Project can be searched on-line through the Archaeology Data Service at http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/index.cfm
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Source Number : 6
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 7. Acoustics and radar: England's early warning systems 1915-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 8-19,156
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Built 1922; closed 1939
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1922
Monument Type : Sound Mirror, Research Station
Evidence : Structure, Demolished Building, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : World War II
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Research Station
Evidence : Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 2996
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 2997
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TR 13 SW 19
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 462809
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1413672
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01
Associated Activities : CONCRETE SOUND MIRROR, CINQUE PORTS TRAINING AREA
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31