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HER Number:MDV50869
Name:West Prawle, Radar Station


A radar base, part of Chain Home Low, had been established at East Prawle by summer 1940. Aerial photographs of the 1940s record and extensive spread of military buildings, some of which survive.


Grid Reference:SX 769 374
Map Sheet:SX73NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishEast Portlemouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishEAST PORTLEMOUTH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX73NE/52

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RADAR STATION (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV148011.

Waterhouse, R. /East Portlemouth heritage appraisal: an archaeological history of the parish/(September 2000)35/in PF.

Horner, W., 08/11/1995, West Prawle Radar Station (Personal Comment). SDV148010.

At the above NGR a compound of military buildings is visible on 1946 raf AP's. Extent plotted on SMR overlay. Appears to be surrounded by wire fencing, partly following existing hedge-line, and includes three 4-footed receiver masts, at least one (type B) earth revetted receiver block, an administration block and other ancillary structures. Along with its associated transmitter masts (see subsheets) this appears to conform to a West Coast Chain Home radar station.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 2014, HER 63/12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Wasley, G., 1994, Devon at War 1939-1945, 52 (Monograph). SDV165766.

A radar base, part of Chain Home Low (CHL) had been established at East Prawle by summer 1940.

Horner, W., 1996, Radar Station at West Prawle Farm (Worksheet). SDV357501.

An RAF aerial photograph of 1946 records an extensive spread of military buildings. One compound at SX77453750, is surrounded by wire fencing, partly following hedgelines and includes 3 receiver masts, at least one earth-revetted receiver block (Type B) and other ancillary buildings. A second wire-enclosed compound at SX77053742 includes 4 transmitter masts with two transmitter blocks and other structures. On the west side of this compound there is a smaller mast and associated building, the latter apparently encircled by a series of foxhole like earthworks. Fleeting site visit in poor weather indicates certain buildings still survive (see plan for more details).

Jury, R., 1997, Prawle Radar Stations (Worksheet). SDV162158.

Site visited on 9th February 1997. Extensive site. Widely spread remains of huts and bunkers.

Dobinson, C. S., 2000, Acoustics and radar, 161 (Report - non-specific). SDV325097.

No 14 radar station, West Prawle. A Chain Home station. Reference in documentation in 1939. Also reference to Advanced Chain Home station 18/4/1941 (Dobinson). General location for Radar station given as SX773374 and there is also reference to a series of Vulnerable Points (VP)'s.

Passmore, M. + Passmore, A., 2011, Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Station West Prawle, 2-3 (Leaflet). SDV347322.

RAF West Prawle was a chain home station and came into operation in 1940. Domestic accommodation was provided for station personnel in a hutted complex on the northern outskirts of East Prawle, with officers at one stage accommodated at the former Gara Rock Hotel in East Portlemouth. The station ceased to be operational in 1945, but was later to be refurbished for a role during the Cold War, and a separate Gee (navigational aids) station was established alongside the chain home station, and shared its domestic facilities. Little remains of the chain home station, which closed in 1956, and nothing of the Gee station which ceased operations in the following year. The photograph shows a Type B receiver block, now modified for agricultural use. Other details: Photographs.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV148010Personal Comment: Horner, W.. 08/11/1995. West Prawle Radar Station.
SDV148011Migrated Record:
SDV162158Worksheet: Jury, R.. 1997. Prawle Radar Stations. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV165766Monograph: Wasley, G.. 1994. Devon at War 1939-1945. Devon at War. Hardback Volume. 52.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2014, HER 63/12.
SDV325097Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 2000. Acoustics and radar. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. VII. A4 Stapled + Digital. 161.
SDV347322Leaflet: Passmore, M. + Passmore, A.. 2011. Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Station West Prawle. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 40. A4 Folded + digital. 2-3.
SDV357501Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996. Radar Station at West Prawle Farm. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital. [Mapped feature: #93816 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV55084Related to: RAF West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55084Related to: RAF West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55084Related to: RAF West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55084Related to: RAF West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55086Related to: West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV72373Related to: West Prawle, ACH station (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 9 2014 10:59AM