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HER Number:MDV55664
Name:Transmitter Masts, RAF Northam Radar Station

Summary

Four transmitter towers, aerial halyard anchor bases and assorted structures associated with RAF Northam radar station are visible as structures on aerial photographs of 1941 onwards. The concrete remains can be seen on the ground.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 449 302
Map Sheet:SS43SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNortham
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43SE/256

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TRANSMITTER SITE (World War II - 1941 AD to 1944 AD (Between))

Full description

Historic England, 12/08/2015, Northam Chain Home Radar Station, North of Appledore Road and Long's Lane, Northam, Bideford, Torridge, Devon (Correspondence). SDV358979.

Northam radar station, which operated between 1941 and 1944, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Degree of survival: as a substantially intact Chain Home radar station which retains its principal buildings, tower and mast bases, and other related structures; which allow a clear understanding of how the site functioned;
* Historic interest: as a physical manifestation of tensions and fears during the Second World War, which resulted in the establishment of a chain of radar stations to protect Britain’s coast;
* Group value: for its strong visual and spatial relationship with two associated decoy targets (recommended for scheduling).


Royal Air Force, 1941, RAF/1416/S171, NMR RAF/1416/S171 PO-15 SS4329/1 01-JUN-1941 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349742.

Four transmitter towers, associated fixings, structures and enclosure fences are visible.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1420, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1420 4232-4233 15-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349553.

Four transmitter towers, associated fixings, structures and enclosure fences remain visible.


Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Map object previously based on this Source.


Meridian Airmaps Limited, 1967, MAL/67086, NMR MAL/67086 074-075 12-OCT-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349071.

The mast structures and enclosure fencing has been removed, but hardened concretre structures, such as aerial halyard anchor bases remain visible.


Wasley, G., 1994, Devon at War 1939-1945, 53 (Monograph). SDV165766.


Horner, W., 1996, Defence of Britain Project: Northam Burrows (Worksheet). SDV347319.

Radar station at South end of Northam Burrows. Extensive site recorded on Royal Air Force 1946 aerial photograph. This records four steel transmitter masts, two wooden receiver towers and a number of transmitter and receiver blocks. There is evidence of a spinal access road and perimeter fencing.


Hellis, J., 1996, Email (Correspondence). SDV339869.

A Post War Postcard of Westward Ho! records in the background four slim steel masts and two shorter wooden receiver gantry masts. The bases of one of the latter is still visible from the Appledore Road,


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

Chain Home Radar Station No 19, Northam. Operational in April 1941. Dobinson quotes the general location of the radar station as SS438303 and the radar towers as SS444299.


Passmore, M., 2005, RAF Northam and Eastdown Park, Hartland (Correspondence). SDV351386.

Describes concrete features in the area around The Pill, connected with two sets of paired transmission aerials. Copies of photographs included.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4430 04-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349344.

Concrete structures such as the mast aerial halyard anchor bases remain visible, although somewhat overgrown.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, 13, No. 35 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.


Passmore, M. + Passmore, A., 2011, Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Station Northam, 2-3 (Leaflet). SDV347318.

RAF Northam was a Chain Home station which would have included two pairs of steel transmitter masts. Photographs show an aerial halyard anchor block and a transmitter mast base, both seen on the Burrows. Other details: Photographs.


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

Four transmitter towers arranged in two pairs, aerial halyard anchor bases and numerous structures associated with RAF Northam radar station are visible as structures on aerial photographs of 1941 onwards.
During the Second World War and the years immediately after, each pair of masts is enclosed in rectangular fenced or barbed wire obstruction defined enclosures circa 105 metres by 30 metres in size, with the aerial halyard tethering points arrayed in ‘x’ formations extending up to 50 metres outside the enclosed areas. In the years after the Second World War the towers and enclosing fences are removed and only the concrete bases remain visible. By the late 1960s many of the remaining structures are becoming overgrown. Nonetheless, many survive to be clearly visible on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in May 2007.


Hegarty, C. & Knight, S., 2012-2013, North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit, 19-FEB-2013 (Site Visit). SDV349357.

The mast bases and anchor blocks are visible, with rusting metal fixings. One of the metal fixings appears to have sheared off.


Passmore, A. J., 2013, Northam Burrows FEP Consultation Pro-forma (Report - non-specific). SDV356811.

The site is in a good condition with no change since the 2006 survey. There are no significant threats to the features. There is potential for public interpretation of the radar station. The extents of these features have been mapped. Two previously unmapped concrete blocks (probably aerial curtain balance weights) were recorded, one of which had been dug up but not removed.


Passmore, A., 2014, Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon: Higher Level Stewardship Scheme Archaeological Survey, 6, Figures 5-7; Plates 1-2 (Report - Survey). SDV356810.


English Heritage, 2015, Northam Radar Station: Transmitter Mast Bases and Associated Features and Decoy sites, Northam Burrows, Northam, Bideford, Devon (Correspondence). SDV358031.

English Heritage is undertaking a strategic designation project in the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, following on from an aerial photographic interpretive survey of the area. One of the sites highlighted as having potential national importance and meriting assessment for designation is the former Second World War radar station at Northam.
Site visits took place on 2nd - 3rd February 2015. The four transmitter masts (AMES type 1), which were paired, were constructed in a line and built of steel lattice (the Northam transmitter examples were supported by steel guy ropes and therefore are technically masts rather than towers. The bases for the masts survive and thus mark their locations. Each was held in position by aerial halyards which were anchored to large concrete blocks set into the ground; there are four pairs of blocks for each mast. Other features include a winch base and concrete halyard balance weights which would have counterbalanced the weight of the aerial curtains that were suspended between each pair of masts.
See consultation report for full details.


Westward Ho! History Group, 2018, Westward Ho! History, http://www.westwardhohistory.co.uk/war-years/war-years-by-richard-sumner/ (Website). SDV361065.

These masts are included in one of the photographs taken from the top of a mast in 1947.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV165766Monograph: Wasley, G.. 1994. Devon at War 1939-1945. Devon at War. Hardback Volume. 53.
SDV325097Report - non-specific: Dobinson, C. S.. 2000. Acoustics and radar. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. VII. A4 Stapled + Digital. 161.
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. 13, No. 35.
SDV339869Correspondence: Hellis, J.. 1996. Email. Description of site. Unknown.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV347318Leaflet: Passmore, M. + Passmore, A.. 2011. Royal Air Force Air-Defence Radar Station Northam. A Brief Introduction to Twentieth Century Military and Civil Defence Archae. 39. A4 Folded. 2-3.
SDV347319Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996. Defence of Britain Project: Northam Burrows. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
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
SDV349071Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1967. MAL/67086. Meridian Airmaps Limited Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR MAL/67086 074-075 12-OCT-1967.
SDV349344Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4430 04-MAY-2007.
SDV349357Site Visit: Hegarty, C. & Knight, S.. 2012-2013. North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit. ND AONB NMP. Digital. 19-FEB-2013.
SDV349553Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1420. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1420 4232-4233 15-APR-1946. [Mapped features: #95305 ; #95306 ]
SDV349742Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1941. RAF/1416/S171. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/1416/S171 PO-15 SS4329/1 01-JUN-1941.
SDV351386Correspondence: Passmore, M.. 2005. RAF Northam and Eastdown Park, Hartland. Letter. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV356810Report - Survey: Passmore, A.. 2014. Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon: Higher Level Stewardship Scheme Archaeological Survey. AC Archaeology. CD760/2/3. A4 Bound + Digital. 6, Figures 5-7; Plates 1-2.
SDV356811Report - non-specific: Passmore, A. J.. 2013. Northam Burrows FEP Consultation Pro-forma. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV358031Correspondence: English Heritage. 2015. Northam Radar Station: Transmitter Mast Bases and Associated Features and Decoy sites, Northam Burrows, Northam, Bideford, Devon. Letter and Consultation Report. Digital.
SDV358979Correspondence: Historic England. 12/08/2015. Northam Chain Home Radar Station, North of Appledore Road and Long's Lane, Northam, Bideford, Torridge, Devon. Notification of Designation Decision. Digital.
SDV361065Website: Westward Ho! History Group. 2018. Westward Ho! History. http://www.westwardhohistory.co.uk. Digital. http://www.westwardhohistory.co.uk/war-years/war-years-by-richard-sumner/.

Associated Monuments

MDV55665Part of: RAF Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV102516Related to: Military structure, Northam Burrows (Monument)
MDV102482Related to: Second World War access road, RAF Northam radar station (Monument)
MDV16676Related to: Transmitter Block, Radar Station, Northam (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project
  • EDV6518 - Archaeological Survey of Northam Burrows (Ref: ACD760)

Date Last Edited:Apr 18 2018 2:59PM