RAF Bempton ‘RMF’ CEW R1 ROTOR Radar Station, Yorkshire

RAF Bempton was originally RAF Flamborough Head, a WW2 GCI Radar Site which opened in 1940, and was disbanded in 1945. After this it became an Air Ministry Experimental Station, and was established as a CHL/CHEL Radar station in 1949. It then transferred to Fighter Command and was rebuilt under the ROTOR program as a CEW ROTOR site with an underground R1 Bunker. It remained in this guise of 146 Signals Unit till 1961 when it became a satellite of RAF Patrington (later RAF Holmpton) for a few years (was not used as an active radar site after 1964) until final closure in 1972. After being on care and maintenance for a number of years, the site was disposed of in the early 1980’s and has been derelict since then. The site is in a very poor condition with the underground bunker having suffered a severe fire and most of the surface buildings being in a very poor state of repair. The Guard House bungalow and emergency exit are going to be imminently demolished to seal the underground areas.

The underground R1 Operations Bunker was scheduled to be constructed in 1953 but was not fully complete until 1956, although it was equipped with a Type 80 Radar at the time of completion. The site was designated a satellite station to the nearby RAF Holmpton, which had been newly designated as a Comprehensive Radar Site with an underground R3 Bunker.

The site was also used during 1956 as an experimental site for the ‘Winkle’ High Speed Passive Radar Array – more information of which is available here. The site contains very little original fittings and the layout is significantly different to plans due to the fire damage

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Modified: 8th Mar 2017