Updated: 13 Dec 12
Units based here:
178 SU :: <1954 - 1955
4 SU :: 1955 - > 1958
RAF Stenigot served as a Chain Home High station during the Second World War and later as a NATO ACE HIGH station. This station on the Chain Home network helped provide early warning of Luftwaffe raids on the approaches to Sheffield and Nottingham and the Midlands. It had a Lincolnshire Chain Home Low counterpart at Ingoldmels. There was also a GEE station at Stenigot.
RAF Stenigot was opened in 1940 as a Chain Home radar station it provided air warning for raids from Luftflotte V and the northern elements of Luftflotte II along the approaches to Sheffield and Nottingham and the central midlands. It was built to the East coast design, the same as as the experimental radar establishment at Bawdsey in 1936 consisting of a protected transmitter and receiver block with transmitter aerials suspended from four 350' steel towers and the receiver aerials mounted on four 240' timber towers. The operations blocks of an east coast CH are classified as Type A with a 5' 6" layer of shingle on the roof to disperse blast and earth banks around them.
RAF Stenigot was also provided with a buried reserve which consists of duplicate transmitter and receiver blocks at a dispersed location. The stand-by set house, which at Stenigot has now been demolished, was of similar construction. The domestic site was situated some 1.5 miles south along the road towards Louth and comprised eight wooden huts as airmen's accommodation, a brick built NAAFI, guardroom and six single story brick built married quarters and a small nissan hut serving as a chapel. The Pack Horse in Louth was used as the local for Stenigot personnel until at least 1958.
The site was operated by 178 SU for Chain Home and later by 4 SU for GEE as a slave site. The Chain Home site at Stenigot ceased operation in mid-1955 and the manpower on the site was reduced by 100, leaving 36 to run the GEE.
The surviving Chain Home High transmitter mast view is currently used by the Aerial Erector School for 'climbing aptitude at height 'tests :: view here. The site still includes the bases of three other masts, the sub-surface transmitter and receiver buildings, a guardhouse, water tower and pill boxes.
Stenigot was also a site on the Eastern GEE chain, code named VIRGINIA, from 22 Jun 1942. The master station for the Eastern chain was at Daventry, Northamptonshire and included sites at Clee Hill in Shropshire, Gibbet Hill in Surrey and the monitor site at RAF Barkway in Hertfordshire. It was also briefly a slave station in the North-Eastern GEE chain which became operational on 18 Apr 1944 although this site, equipped with AMES 7722, was moved to Nettleton (previously called Caistor) because of poor coverage in the intended zones from Stenigot. The GEE equipment used was prototype 1939 gear which continued in operational use until the mid 1950s, operational 24/7.
The Viking Way long-distance footpath passes close to Stenigot and the mast can be seen to dominate the skyline to the east.
Some anecdotal evidence by a member of 178 SU who helped with site clearance after the Chain Home station closed in 1955 indicated that that there may have been a Chain Home Low facility at Stenigot as well, as elements were present during salvage. (Feb 2001 story)
RAF Neatishead in the Norfolk Broads is host to the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum :: click here.
Roger JC Thomas wrote two official building reports on RAF Stenigot and NFSS Stenigot for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) in 1995. These reports are held at the National Monuments Records Centre, English Heritage, Swindon, and copies can be ordered from the Public Service Desk.
CHAIN HOME HIGH at RAF Stenigot close-up and personal
A further photograph :: click here
Buy an aerial photo of RAF Stenigot on GetMapping.com
Chain Home explained on RadarPages.co.uk
powered by blueconsultancy