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Chain Home tower demolished

The last Chain Home tower at the former R.A.F. radar site at Bawdsey, Suffolk has been demolished despite a spirited campaign to preserve this piece of history for the nation. The tower was severely corroded and in an unsafe condition.

The 360' steel lattice tower was one of four similar towers at Bawdsey that supported the transmitter antennae for the "Chain Home" radar system. This tower was of particular historic importance because it was a part of the worlds first operational air defence radar system, becoming operational on 24 September 1937.

Bawdsey Manor was purchased by the Air Ministry in 1936 and Robert Watson Watt moved his research team there from Orfordness to developed his radar theories. The research team put in a supreme effort, ensuring that Great Britain had a credible air defence system in operation before the outbreak of World War II.

A detailed description of the Chain Home system is available here.

The last Chain Home tower at Bawdsey (photo - Posford Duvivier)The last Chain Home tower at Bawdsey (photo - Posford Duvivier)

The tower is starting to topple (photo - Posford Duvivier)Going, going...

Gone. The end of an eraThe end of an era (photo - Posford Duvivier)

Corrosion (photo - Posford Duvivier)Severe corrosion is clearly visible in this picture

All the photographs on this page were kindly donated by Paul Paton of Posford Duvivier Scotland Ltd. Many thanks Paul.


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Updated 13/06/01

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