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HER Number:MDV55665
Name:RAF Northam Radar Station

Summary

Radar station at south end of Northam Burrows. Extensive site recorded on RAF 1946 aerial photograph includes four steel transmitter masts, two wooden receiver towers and a number of transmitter and receiver blocks, with spinal access road and perimeter fencing.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 448 298
Map Sheet:SS42NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNortham
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1413088
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NW/187

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RADAR STATION (World War II - 1941 AD to 1944 AD (Between))

Full description

English Heritage, 07/11/2014, Northam Radar Station, Northam, Torridge (Correspondence). SDV357381.

English Heritage is currently 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 undertaken on behalf of English Heritage and Devon County Council. As well as assessing some sites which have been highlighted as having potential national importance, the project will also re-assess some sites where revisions to the existing statutory designation have been identified, among them the above named monument. Assessment of the site is underway.


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).


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


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1420/3233 (Aerial Photograph). SDV347321.

Other details: HER 3/47.


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

Fenced enclosure shown, containing a tower and several buildings. Associated structures shown to south and west, outside the boundary fence.


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

At Northam there was an 87 foot tall radar mast.


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

Radar station at South end of Northam Burrows. Extensive site recorded on RAF 1946 aerial photograph. This records four steel transmitter masts, two wooden receiver towers and a number of transmitter and receiver blocks. Also spinal access road and perimeter fencing. Devon County Council computer mapbase records three bunkers, at least two of which must be receiver blocks, at SS44722993, SS44782997, SS44582973 and SS44932985.


Hellis, J., 1996, RAF Northam (Correspondence). SDV347320.

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. Documented in operational reports April 1941. Dobinson also records 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 around The Pill, associated with the former Chain Home radar station.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, 13 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Other details: Survey number 35.


Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.


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

RAF Northam was a Chain Home station which opened in 1941 and ceased operations in 1944. It was located on Northam Burrows and adjacent land, with a domestic complex and orderly room (administration) on the south-west edge of the site, on land now occupied by housing. Photographs portray transmitter and receiver blocks, an aerial halyard anchor block and a transmitter mast base

The best preserved radar remains in Devon.


Passmore, A., 2014, Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon: Higher Level Stewardship Scheme Archaeological Survey, 6 (Report - Survey). SDV356810.

RAF Northam was a chain home air-defence radar station that operated between February or March 1941 and 1945, although by that date the site's domestic accommodation was probably being used for personnel stationed at RAF Hartland Point. The station was of the west coast design, and certainly went through an intermediate stage and final stage; a preceding mobile and/or advanced stage is likely but is not recorded. The buildings and masts associated with the intermediate stage were located to the south of the burrows. The transmitter masts and other features of the final station were located on the burrows, whilst the remainder of the station was to the south outside the survey area.


Historic England, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV358087.

Second World War radar station, built 1941 and ceased operating in 1944. The site includes two transmitter blocks, two receiver blocks, the bases of two receiver tower and four transmitter masts, a substation, and structures associated with either an Advance or an Intermediate Chain Home and are dispersed over an area of some 24ha.
The two associated decoy targets situated on Northam Burrows are a scheduled monument.
See website for full details.


English Heritage, 2015, Northam Radar Station: receiver blocks, transmitter blocks, substation, receiver tower bases and Advance or Intermediate Chain Home structures , North of Appledore Road and Long's Lane, Northam, Bideford, Devon (Correspondence). SDV358032.

Site visited 2nd - 3rd February 2015. Second World War radar station, built 1941 and ceased operating in 1944. The site includes two transmitter blocks, two receiver blocks, receiver tower bases, substation, the bases of two receiver towers, and structures associated with either an Advance or an Intermediate Chain Home and are dispersed over an area of some 24 hectares. See 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.

Photographs of the radar station, taken from one of the wooden masts in 1947, are included.

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.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #95307 ]
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (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. Photographs.
SDV347319Worksheet: Horner, W.. 1996. Defence of Britain Project: Northam Burrows. Defence of Britain Project. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV347320Correspondence: Hellis, J.. 1996. RAF Northam. Email. Unknown.
SDV347321Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1420/3233. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
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.
SDV357381Correspondence: English Heritage. 07/11/2014. Northam Radar Station, Northam, Torridge. Assess for Upgrading. Digital.
SDV358032Correspondence: English Heritage. 2015. Northam Radar Station: receiver blocks, transmitter blocks, substation, receiver tower bases and Advance or Intermediate Chain Home structures , North of Appledore Road and Long's Lane, Northam, Bideford, Devon. Letter and Consultation Report. Digital.
SDV358087National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Website.
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

MDV77317Parent of: A possible Second World War decoy building at Northam Burrows (Monument)
MDV56000Parent of: Chain Home Radar Station receiver block, Northam Burrows (Monument)
MDV55999Parent of: Chain Home Radar Station structure, Northam (Monument)
MDV80118Parent of: Concrete Base for Timber Receiver Tower, RAF Northam (Monument)
MDV80119Parent of: Concrete Base for Timber Receiver Tower, RAF Northam (Monument)
MDV55998Parent of: Northam, Defensive Bunker (Monument)
MDV62563Parent of: Probable receiver block associated with Northam radar station (Monument)
MDV102482Parent of: Second World War access road, RAF Northam radar station (Monument)
MDV102432Parent of: Transmitter block at Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV16676Parent of: Transmitter Block, Radar Station, Northam (Monument)
MDV102456Parent of: Transmitter Mast and tethering blocks, RAF Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV55664Parent of: Transmitter Masts, RAF Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV62561Parent of: Transmitter or receiver block at RAF Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV62562Parent of: Transmitter or receiver block at RAF Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV102455Parent of: Transmitter or receiver mast and tethering blocks, RAF Northam Radar Station (Monument)
MDV102447Related to: Coastal anti-invasion barbed wire obstruction, Westward Ho! (Monument)
MDV102522Related to: Probable transmitter block associated with Northam radar station (Monument)
MDV55670Related to: Second World War military depot or workshop (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6518 - Archaeological Survey of Northam Burrows (Ref: ACD760)

Date Last Edited:Apr 18 2018 2:40PM