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HER Number:MDV54163
Name:Wrafton Radar Station

Summary

Site of World War II Wrafton Radar Station, visible on 1940s aerial photograph to west of Sir Arthur's Pill. A number of 'temporary' buildings were still visible in the 1990s.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 469 354
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/255

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RADAR STATION (World War II to XX - 1941 AD to 1946 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501/4006 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342359.

Other details: HER 7/31.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1655, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1655 3361-3362 11-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349996.

RAF Wrafton radar station is visible as a range of structures and earthworks.


Royal Air Force, 1953, NMR RAF/540/1141 (F21), NMR RAF/540/1141 (F21) 11-12 06-JUN-1953 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349622.

The radar base structures remain visible and, with the exception of the removal of the principal mast, largely unchanged.


Royal Air Force, 1957, RAF/58/2205 F21, NMR RAF/58/2205 F21 0025-0026 05-JUL-1957 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349736.

The radar base structures remain visible and largely unchanged.


Ordnance Survey, 1967, OS/67042, NMR OS/67042 102 18-APR-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349988.

The radar base structures remain visible and largely unchanged.


Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography, 1978, CUCAP RC8-CW, CUCAP RC8CW 097-098 18-SEP-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350027.

The radar base structures remain visible although modification of structures is apparent.


Worral, G., 1988, Untitled Source, 25 (Monograph). SDV339728.


Ordnance Survey, 1989, OS/89115, NMR OS/89115 334-335 04-MAY-1989 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349086.

The radar base structures remain visible although some landscaping and modification of structures is apparent.


Unknown, 1995, Untitled Source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV342358.

The site is visible on the 1946 aerial photograph in fields to the west of Braunton Great Field beside Sir Arthur's Pill. Comparison with the Hope Cove Radar Station suggests that the complex consists of a central operations block and stand-by power house with associated barracks, sewage plant etc and outlying aerials and ames (low level and surface) radar.


1995, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV339729.


Horner, B., 1995, Wrafton Radar Station (Personal Comment). SDV339727.

Site of Wrafton World War II GCI (Ground Controlled Interception) Radar Station was visited on 02/02/1995. A number of 'temporary' brick buildings are still visible, including the sewage plant, on the south side of the lane. The site of the central operations block on the north side of the lane is occupied by holiday cottages.


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

Position of Wrafton Ground Controlled Interception station, referred to in sources dated to early 1940s. Other details: 13G.


Wessex Archaeology, 2007, RMB Chivenor Flood Defence Scheme Barnstaple, Devon: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV342125.

Other details: WA 210.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 1593 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Site of Wraffton WWII gci (ground controlled interception) radar station. A no. of "temporary brick" buildings still visible, including sewage plant, on south side of lane. Site of central operations block on north side of lane occupied by holiday cottages.


Passmore, M. + Passmore, A., 2008, Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Stations in Devon. The Second World War and Beyond, pp. 74-78 (Monograph). SDV342115.


Next Perspectives, 2010, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4635 08-APR-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349899.

The radar base structures remain visible.


Next Perspectives, 2010, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4735 08-APR-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349899.

The radar base structures remain visible.


Passmore, M., 2011, Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Station Wrafton, 2-4 (Leaflet). SDV347323.

RAF Wrafton developed in phases, with transportable equipment being moved onto the site in 1941, followed by an intermediate phase in 1942. The final fixed station came into being in 1943, when a brick and concrete operations block and a standby generator building were built. It was disbanded in 1946 although it remained in Air Ministry hands until 1958. The site and its remaining structures, on agricultural land and in a leisure complex north and south of Gallowell Lane, can be viewed from the public highway. Within the Willowfield Lake Cottages complex the former operations block has been converted into leisure facilities, and the standby generator house is now living accommodation. Former administrative buildings, now modernised, can also be seen. Several other structures are extant in this area, including a sewage treatment facility, the site of a Type 7 radar and buildings of the intermediate period. Other details: Photographs.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

The main site of the Second World War Radar Station at Wrafton is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. The site extends over an area of roughly 10 hectares, with structures dispersed over several fields to the west of Sir Arthur's Pill. The site is bisected into a northern and southern section by the east-west route of Gallowell Lane. The structures are described in detail by Passmore and passmore. By 1953 the principal radar mast at circa SS 46893529 has been removed although the hard standing remains visible. Otherwise the site appears relatively intact. The complex appears largely unchanged up to April 1967. By September 1978 the former administrative huts at circa SS 46963546 have been combined into a single structure and the trackway to the possible IFF structure at SS 47073549 has been deepened or recut and extended eastwards, both becoming a persistent landscape features which remains visible today. Otherwise the site appears largely unchanged until May 1989, when photographs reveal further landscaping and planting in the area of the site north of Gallowell Lane and the replacement or conversion of the possible standby set structures at circa SS 46933554 and SS 46933557 with what appear to be more conventional accommodation structures. These additional structures remain clearly visible on interactive digital images derived from aerial photographs flown in 2010, as do the structures to the south of the road.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325097Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 2000. Acoustics and radar. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. VII. A4 Stapled + Digital. 173.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 1593.
SDV339727Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 1995. Wrafton Radar Station.
SDV339728Monograph: Worral, G.. 1988. Exeter Airport in Peace and War. Unknown. 25.
SDV339729Photograph: 1995. Slide.
SDV342115Monograph: Passmore, M. + Passmore, A.. 2008. Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Stations in Devon. The Second World War and Beyond. Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Stations in Devon. The Second World War a. A4 Paperback. pp. 74-78.
SDV342125Report - Assessment: Wessex Archaeology. 2007. RMB Chivenor Flood Defence Scheme Barnstaple, Devon: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment. Wessex Archaeology Report. 67300.01. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342358Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. 1995.
SDV342359Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501/4006. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV347323Leaflet: Passmore, M.. 2011. Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Station Wrafton. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 41. A4 Folded + digital. 2-4.
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349086Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89115. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/89115 334-335 04-MAY-1989.
SDV349622Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. NMR RAF/540/1141 (F21). Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/540/1141 (F21) 11-12 06-JUN-1953.
SDV349736Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1957. RAF/58/2205 F21. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/58/2205 F21 0025-0026 05-JUL-1957.
SDV349899Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2010. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4635 08-APR-2010.
SDV349988Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1967. OS/67042. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/67042 102 18-APR-1967.
SDV349996Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1655. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1655 3361-3362 11-JUL-1946.
SDV350027Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. 1978. CUCAP RC8-CW. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP RC8CW 097-098 18-SEP-1978.

Associated Monuments

MDV102716Parent of: Second World War military structures north of Wrafton Radar Station. (Monument)
MDV75275Related to: IFF Cubicle to West of Willowfield, Braunton (Monument)
MDV78310Related to: Military Building to East of Marsh-Side, Braunton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4490 - RMB Chivenor Flood Defence Scheme Barnstaple, Devon: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment
  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Aug 18 2016 10:56AM