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HER Number:MDV55084
Name:RAF West Prawle Radar Station

Summary

RAF West Prawle radar station is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards as a range of structures and earthworks to the east of West Prawle Farm. Part of the Chain Home system, it had been established at East Prawle by the summer of 1940. Several structures survive and have been adapted to agricultural use.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 770 374
Map Sheet:SX73NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishChivelstone
Civil ParishEast Portlemouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCHIVELSTONE
Ecclesiastical ParishEAST PORTLEMOUTH

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Two prehistoric barrows south east of Vinivers Cross
  • SHINE: Two prehistoric barrows south east of Vinivers Cross

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX73NE/52/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV162156.

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


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV162157.

Dobinson, C. S. /20th Century Fortifications in England/VII 2(2000)/Acoustics and radar/Appendices.


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

At SX76503740 a compound of military buildings is recorded on 1946 RAF aerial photographs. Appears to be surrounded by wire fencing that in part follows the existing hedgeline. Extent plotted on SMR overlay. This element of the radar base includes two tall masts with associated transmitter/receiver blocks, the latter apparently encircled by seagull trenches and foxholes. At the north end of this site there is an annex containing a shorter mast and a further transmitter/receiver block with foxholes. Some of the buildings in the annex are marked on the Ordnance SurveyS 6 inch (1963) map.


Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/967, RAF/106G/UK/967 RS 4032 1-NOV-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351060.

Radar station is visible.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 2015; HER 63/11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 2014 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351061.

Radar station is visible


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2105, RAF/CPE/UK/2105 RP 3128 28-MAY-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351151.

Radar station is visible


Royal Air Force, 1954, RAF/540/1278, RAF/540/1278 V 20 5-APR-1954 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351148.

Radar station is visible


Ordnance Survey, 1963, Ordnance Survey 6 inch map (Cartographic). SDV166087.


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

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


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

Viewed from the road, there do not appear to be any surviving structures of the compound of military buildings recorded at SX76503740.


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

Extensive site covering the area between the farm and East Prawle village.


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

No 14 radar station, West Prawle (Dobinson).


Next Perspectives, 2006, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photograph, NEXT Perspectives PGA Imagery SX7637 03-JUN-2006 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351300.

Structures are still partly visible


Passmore, M. + Passmore, A., 2006, WWII RAF Radar Receiver Block Prawle Point, Devon, 2 (Report - Survey). SDV347421.


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.


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

The Second World War radar station at West Prawle is visible as a range of structures and earthworks on aerial photographs of 1945. The radar station covers a total area of approximately 37 hectares, roughly east to west, its perimeter defined largely/in part by barbed wire obstructions. The main transmitter block lies to the east of the site and is associated with by three transmitter masts and a range of receiver blocks, nissen huts, embanked structures and probable sewage works. The central area is occupied by the main control centre structure which is embanked and defined by barbed-wire obstructions, with five probable receiver masts to the west. To the north of the main block are a range of nissen huts with an associated zig-zag slit trench,possibly a prcatice trench or shelter, and possible weapons pit. A range of probable receiver blocks lie to the west and a concentration of small roofed structures of unknown function. To the west of the site are a further range of three receiver blocks with associated structures, with the northern most of these being associated with a number of earthwork features comprising mounds with central pits of unknown function. The dispersed site is interconnected by a series of trackways. A separate but probably associated area lies approximately 260 metres to the southeast of the main station and covers an area of approximately 2.5 hectares. The function of this area is unknown but it comprises a range of nissen huts and possible earthwork gun emplacements. The radar station is still visible on 1954 aerial photographs and several elements are still visible on digital aerial photographs of 2006.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV148010Personal Comment: Horner, W.. 08/11/1995. West Prawle Radar Station.
SDV162156Migrated Record:
SDV162157Migrated 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.
SDV166087Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2015; HER 63/11.
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.
SDV347421Report - Survey: Passmore, M. + Passmore, A.. 2006. WWII RAF Radar Receiver Block Prawle Point, Devon. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV351060Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/967. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/967 RS 4032 1-NOV-1945.
SDV351061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1890 FS 2014 10-DEC-1946.
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
SDV351148Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1954. RAF/540/1278. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/540/1278 V 20 5-APR-1954.
SDV351151Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2105. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/2105 RP 3128 28-MAY-1947.
SDV351300Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2006. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photograph. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. NEXT Perspectives PGA Imagery SX7637 03-JUN-2006.
SDV357501Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996. Radar Station at West Prawle Farm. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV50868Part of: West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV72102Related to: RAF West Prawle Domestic Site (Monument)
MDV55086Related to: West Prawle Radar Station (Monument)
MDV72373Related to: West Prawle, ACH station (Monument)
MDV50869Related to: West Prawle, Radar Station (Monument)
MDV50869Related to: West Prawle, Radar Station (Monument)
MDV50869Related to: West Prawle, Radar Station (Monument)
MDV50869Related to: West Prawle, 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)

Date Last Edited:Dec 9 2014 10:50AM