Monument record COR 043 - World War II and Cold War radar station with various components

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World War II and Cold War radar station with various components, surrounded by barbed wire, north of Corton, overlapping the parish boundary with Hopton. Norfolk


Grid reference Centred TM 53719 99037 (367m by 697m)
Map sheet TM59NW


Type and Period (11)

Full Description

A radar station to the north of Corton can be seen developing throughout World War II on aerial photographs from the 1940s. Aerial photographs from August 1940 (S1) show very little at the site, with just a small strongpoint surrounded with barbed wire containing a few military buildings, and two pillboxes at TM53759918 & TM53759919. By February 1941 (S2), the strongpoint has been altered to form a larger irregular pentagon shaped enclosure, with military buildings, a couple of slit trenches, a pillbox and one or two possible gun emplacements inside. Two substantial zig-zag trenches can now be seen c250-300m to the south of the strongpoint, and a hexagonal pillbox has been erected at TM53689906. By August 1941(S3), the barbed wire has been extended to cover a much larger area, an area some 700m long. By December 1941 (S4), further gun emplacements have been added and extra stretches of barbed wire have been erected. It appears that construction on one of the masts or buildings near to the masts may have begun. The more northerly zig-zag trench has also been significantly extended. The next available photographs show the site in July 1944 (S5), by which time two masts have been erected at TM53799905 & TM53799899. A number of nissen huts have been built within the original pentagonal strongpoint, and various other slit trenches and gun emplacements have also been constructed. A relatively fresh bomb crater can also be seen to the west of the site at TM53639903. The site can still be seen with most of the components intact on aerial photographs of 1947 (S6), although the area enclosed by barbed wire (or at this point possibly a fence), has been somewhat reduced, to c 550m in length. The structures on the site are still standing, but the trenches appear to be a lot less crisp.For more information on COR 043 see Source 7
Site of Chain Home Low and Extra Low Radar Stations. An aerial photo of 1955 shows 2 pillboxes indicating the western boundary. The rest of the site became a ROTOR site, with the guardhouse located where the main site originall stood. The ROTOR site reused the masts, but its unclear whether these survive (S8).
The site of a Royal Air Force Chain Home Low radar station at Hopton established by June 1941. Chain Home Low (CHL) stations provided early warning of approaching low-flying enemy aircraft during the Second World War. CHL sites typically comprised two gantries carrying the transmitter and receiver aerial arrays, a transmitter and receiver hut, a standby set house for the reserve power, and a general purposes hut. Defence measures installed at radar stations included Light Anti-Aircraft gun emplacements, pillboxes, road blocks and air raid shelters. The site was upgraded in 1942 and fitted with centimetric radar to become a Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) station, called site K149. Aerial photogaphy from 1955 shows two pillboxes situated on the western boundary of the station the only remaining Second World War features of the site. The rest of the site was built over by a Rotor station in 1952. The Rotor programme was established by the Air Council in 1950 to modernise the United Kingdom's radar defences. The former CHEL station at Hopton was replaced by Type 54 Mk. 2 radar and the site equipped with an underground, single-storey R2 operations block and a guard house designed to resemble a bungalow. The Rotor station reused the original CHL masts. The Rotor station became disused by the end of the 1950s. The guard house was demolished in the late 1980s having been derelict for many years. The operations bunker probably remains intact below, however all surface features have been removed. The site was later used as a Ready Platform for the United Kingdom Air Defence Ground Environment Series II Radar System. This continued in use until 1997 when it was reduced to care and maintenance status (S9).

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. 2A/BR190 FrmsA6-A7 18-Aug-1940.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. 268F/BR172 FrmsA4-A6 10-Feb-1941.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. S/423 H13 1416 Frms87-90 20-Aug-1941.
  • <S4> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. 2H/BR165 FrmsA2-A4 24-Dec-1941.
  • <S5> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. 106G/LA21 Frm4025 4-Jul-1944.
  • <S6> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. CPE/UK/2004 Frm5045 14-Apr-1947.
  • <S7> Machine readable data file: Website.
  • <S8> Unpublished document: Anderton, M. J.. 2000. Twentieth Century Military Recording Project. World War Two radar stations.
  • <S9> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 21 2022 3:28PM

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