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Report - Crowborough RGHQ 6.1 & Aspidistra - July 2010

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by MarkR, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. MarkR

    MarkR 28DL Member
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    Visited this place 2 years ago and went back for a return visit.

    This was an organised visit kindly allowed by Sussex Police. It is a secure site, please do not attempt to visit the site without permission.

    Text from Subterranea Britannica:

    This site was originally home to a high-power (600 kW) medium wave broadcasting transmitter, built for the Political Warfare Executive in WW2. This transmitter was purchased in the USA in 1941 and consisted of three 170-kW units connected in parallel. The underground site had been prepared with the assistance of Canadian forces personnel.

    The BBC obtained partial use of the station from 8th November 1942 to broadcast its European Service. At other times this transmitter, known colloquially as Aspidistra, was used by the PWE for `black' broadcasting. This started on 30th January 1943.

    After the war the transmitter was operated for many years by the Foreign Office's Diplomatic Wireless Service, and hired by the BBC to broadcast the World Service to Europe. After the transmitter closed, the Home Office built RGHQ ( Regional Government Headquarters ) 6.1 here in 1984-6 to replace the former site underneath Dover Castle known as Dumpy.

    The RGHQ was constructed by gutting the original Aspidistra bunker and inserting a mezzanine floor. A new wing at the uppermost level was added to house the generators, air conditioning plant, etc., and to provide a new entrance.

    The original Aspidistra entrance on the lowest level has been retained and there is a vehicle ramp to that level. The remainder of the Kings Standing site is largely intact, although many buildings are in a poor state. The above-ground Aspidistra transmitter hall is interesting because it was designed by a cinema architect, as was the original bunker.

    The Home Office closed this site, with the rest of the RGHQs, in 1992. Since then the bunker has been used on all three levels by Sussex police for training.

    First lot, the RGHQ bunker:

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  2. MarkR

    MarkR 28DL Member
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