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HER Number:MDV52954
Name:Exminster Radar Station

Summary

A radar station of Second World War date is visible as a range of structures and earthwork pit and banked features on aerial photographs of 1942 onwards and on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2012, to the east of Exminster.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 957 874
Map Sheet:SX98NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExminster
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishEXMINSTER

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Exminster Radar Station. Structures and earthwork pit and banked features of a Second World War radar station

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1478598
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98NE/128

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV315251.

APH RAF/CPE/UK/1995/1317/ (13/04/1947).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV315252.

Horner, B. / (13/10/1994)/ as above.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2244.

Visit 12/10/1994 (Horner) the site is now the Swans Nest industrial estate. Some of the original buildings have been reused. The local RSPB warden refers to this being an RAF manned site. Possibly a Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) radar installation (Horner).


Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, CPE/UK/1995, 1317 (Aerial Photograph). SDV217286.

Group of military buildings visible on RAF 1947 AP. Concentrated on N side of lane flanking t-junction. There are a number of outliers in the surrounding fields (see subsheets) (APH).


Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/16B/BR425/4, RAF/16B/BR425/4 V 04-06 13-FEB-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354993.

The site of RAF Exminster is partly visible as a range of structures.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RS 4012-13 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

The site of RAF Exminster is visible as a range of structures and earthwork pit and banked features.


Royal Air Force, 1960, RAF/58/3858, RAF/58/3858 V 06 03-OCT-1960 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354996.

The site of RAF Exminster remains largely unaltered and is visible as a range of structures and demolished structures. The earthwork pit and banked features have been levelled and the eastern most group of structures removed, although remain partly visible as two demolished structures. The southern extent of the main operations block appears to have been remodelled and a number of the smaller outlying structures, including the radar masts have been partly dismantled


Collings, A. G., 1995, Archaeological Assessment of RSPB Reserves at Exminster Marshes and Bowling Green March, Topsham, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV298230.

Part of the Southernmost of the 3 fields names 'Old House Marsh' was appropriated during WWII as a Ground Controlled Intercept station, designated RAF Exminster. Manned by 78 Signals Wing. Some 5 buildings were built of brick, and possibly a searchlight was installed, although the surviving features indicate the position of radio transceiver equipment. After the war it became the temporary home of ROC 21 Group HQ, after it had left 'Barnfield' and prior to its move to Poltimore. It continued as a secondary radar station used, at least in part, for weekend training in conjunction with the Hope Cove GCI station. It was closed in 1958 and the vacated site subsequently became the Lions Holt industrial estate, when some of the original buildings were re-used.


Dobinson, C. S., 2000, Acoustics and radar, 173 (Report - non-specific). SDV325097.

Site of Exminster 03G GCI station. Dobinson records the General location as SX958874 (13 June 1941) and the position of the Final site as SX957876 (15 April 1942).


Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coastal Observatory SX9587 17-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

A number of structures and demolished structures of the former radar station remain visible.


Passmore, A. + Passmore, M., 2004, Radar on the Marshes. A Brief History and Archaeology of Royal Air Force Station Exminster, 16 (Report - non-specific). SDV347965.

RAF Exminster started life as a mobile unit, located North of the final 'fixed' site. The intermediate station did not come into operation until late in 1942 and was located to the South East of the final site. Some of the buildings associated with the final phase still exist but other buildings such as the office hut, rest room, NAAFI and several smaller structures are no longer traceable.


Passmore, A., 2009, Archaeological Watching Brief on Exminster Marshes (Report - Watching Brief). SDV348135.


Passmore, M. + Passmore, A., 2011, Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Station Exminster, 3 (Leaflet). SDV347310.

RAF Exminster developed in phases, starting life as a mobile unit, moving to an intermediate status in 1942, then the final (or fixed) station in 1943. A brick and concrete operations block was built and a standby generator building constructed, which have been revamped for office and business use in the Lion's Rest business complex. Other details: Photographs.


Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

A number of structures associated with the former radar station have been mapped and, as such, have not been transcribed as part of this survey.


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2013 - 2014, South Devon Coast RCZAS National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit, 11-04-14 (Site Visit). SDV351142.

A brief field visit of the site was carried out on 11-04-14 as part of this survey. The outlying buildings and structures in the fields to the north and south of the main site remain standing and in a stable state of condition. The main building of the station is fairly well maintained and remains in use as a light industrial unit. The circular sewage tank to the northwest is extant and in a stable state of condition.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

A radar station of Second World War date is visible as a range of structures and earthwork pit and banked features on aerial photographs of 1942 onwards and on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2012, to the east of Exminster. The eastern extent of RAF Exminster is partly visible on aerial photographs of 1942 and comprises a range of pitched-roof structures on the north side of Station Road. The outlying structures in the adjacent fields of later aerial photographs do not appear visible in 1942 and, as such, may represent part of the final phase in the use of the radar station. Aerial photographs of 1946 show the full extent of the site. It is centred on two main areas located on the northern side of Station Road. The eastern extent of the site comprise a cluster of four rectangular pitched-roof structures, possibly representing storage and administration blocks, in addition to a range of smaller structures. These structures are, in part, first visible on aerial photographs of February 1942 and represent an earlier phase in RAF Exminster. The western area, which was constructed in 1943 as part of the final phase of the radar station, comprise a range of more permanent structures forming part of the main operations block and surrounded by a range of smaller structures. These include, a sewage tank, access track, pump house, guard house and rectangular shaped earthwork pit on its western side and an earthwork bank to the east. A range of associated structures are visible across agricultural fields to both the north and south. These include, Type 13 and 14 radars, power distribution box and interrogator hut to the south and interrogator huts, radar mast (SX957876) and a possible earthwork bank and structure representing possible radar fixtures to the north. Access to these structures across the numerous drainage ditches which dissect the fields was aided by construction of a number of purposefully built bridges. RAF Exminster remains largely unaltered on aerial photographs of 1960, although the buildings within the eastern extent of site have been removed, although remain partly visible as demolished structures. The southern extent of the main operations block also appears to have been remodelled, the adjacent earthwork pit and bank levelled and a number of the smaller outlying structures, including the radar masts, have been partly dismantled. Digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2012 show that the former operations block remains in use while the range of associated features including sewage block, pump house and radar plinths are visible as partly demolished structures.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217286Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1317.
SDV2244Migrated Record:
SDV298230Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G.. 1995. Archaeological Assessment of RSPB Reserves at Exminster Marshes and Bowling Green March, Topsham. Exeter Archaeology Report. 95.34. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV315251Aerial Photograph:
SDV315252Migrated Record:
SDV325097Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 2000. Acoustics and radar. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. VII. A4 Stapled + Digital. 173.
SDV347310Leaflet: Passmore, M. + Passmore, A.. 2011. Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Station Exminster. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 35. A4 Folded + digital. 3.
SDV347965Report - non-specific: Passmore, A. + Passmore, M.. 2004. Radar on the Marshes. A Brief History and Archaeology of Royal Air Force Station Exminster. A4 Grip Bound + Digital. 16.
SDV348135Report - Watching Brief: Passmore, A.. 2009. Archaeological Watching Brief on Exminster Marshes. Exeter Archaeology Historic Environment Record Entry. EA6176. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV351142Site Visit: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2013 - 2014. South Devon Coast RCZAS National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit. AC Archaeology. Digital. 11-04-14.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coastal Observatory SX9587 17-SEP-2012.
SDV354993Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/16B/BR425/4. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/16B/BR425/4 V 04-06 13-FEB-1942.
SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RS 4012-13 04-NOV-1946. [Mapped feature: #94508 ]
SDV354996Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1960. RAF/58/3858. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/58/3858 V 06 03-OCT-1960.

Associated Monuments

MDV52955Parent of: Height-Finding Radar Equipment, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV52955Related to: Height-Finding Radar Equipment, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV112089Parent of: Operations Block, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV52959Parent of: Radar Mast, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV52956Parent of: Radar Structure, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV112090Parent of: Standby Generator, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55973Parent of: World War II Feature, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55974Parent of: World War II Feature, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV72379Parent of: World War II Sewage System, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV52955Parent of: Height-Finding Radar Equipment, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)
MDV52955Related to: Height-Finding Radar Equipment, Exminster Radar Station (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)
  • EDV5416 - Survey of RAF Exminster
  • EDV5555 - Archaeological Watching Brief at Exminster Marshes

Date Last Edited:Apr 30 2015 9:53AM