Monument record ARG 033 - A World War II Chain Home Extra Low Station K164

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Chain Home Extra Low Station K164, at Thorpeness, Aldringham cum Thorpe


Grid reference Centred TM 47509 60165 (235m by 256m)
Map sheet TM46SE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

A probable radar mast site is visible as a structure on aerial photographs from 1942 onwards, centred on circa TM47836015. The site is first visible as a defined area from December 1941 photography, when a barbed wire boundary is first established (S1). However, it is not until June 1942 that we can first see the foundations of the mast being prepared and more barbed wire being laid (S2). By 1945 a complex array of barbed wire entanglements are in place, presumably to strictly control the movement of personnel in the area of what must be a sensitive site (S3). A number of structures, nissen-hut type and others, are located adjacent to the mast itself as well as elsewhere within and immediately outside it the barbed wire. These probably housed a command centre, a power supply and other necessary components. A pillbox, previously the focus of a small strongpoint, is also incorporated into the complex at this time. However, this site does not comply to any standard layout of radar site, so a more detailed interpretation of the structures is not possible from the photographs, except to say that it may be related to the possible experimental radar sites further to the north, possibly a receiver tower for their transmitters (see LCS 109 and LCS 116). The barbed wire boundary and mast footings are still visible in 1955, but the site is being developed for housing by 1969, although the pillbox remains and is marked on the base map (S4, S5).
The site of a Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) radar station at Thorpeness. It was commissioned by the Royal Air Force in 1942 to provide low-coverage radar during the Second World War. CHEL sites comprised a Nissen hut with an aerial gantry straddling the roof and a separate standby set house for the reserve power. Defence measures commonly installed at radar stations included Light Anti-Aircraft gun emplacements, pillboxes, road blocks and air raid shelters. Aerial photography from 1969 shows the remains of 6-8 hut bases either side of a path at TM 4740 6048. The remains of a Light Anti-Aircraft gun emplacement survives in poor condition at TM 4750 6024 (S7).
Also seen as part of field survey of Suffolk Coast - square pillbox, WWII. Concrete block construction. Two firing points on each side. Blast sheild to rear protecting entrance (S6).

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <S1> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 2A/BR167 13-14 17-Dec-1941.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF AC/59 111-112 19-Jun-1942.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/929 4258-4260 16-Oct-1945.
  • <S4> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/1674 197-198 04-Mar-1955.
  • <S5> Photograph: OS, AP. NMR OS/69011 43-44 10-Mar-1969.
  • <S6> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. 2003. Assessment Report, Rapid Field Survey of the Suffolk Coast and Intertidal Zone. Everett 2003.
  • <S7> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Aug 4 2022 12:28PM

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