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Report - RAF Barnham nuclear storage - Dec 2012

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by sageman, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. sageman

    sageman 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    HISTORY STOLEN OFF WIKI

    HISTORY
    Military facilities had existed at Barnham since World War I. During World War II, Barnham had been a chemical weapons storage and filling station for Mustard Gas. During 1953 or 1954, construction began on a high-security RAF bomb store on Thetford Heath. The site was to become known as RAF Barnham and construction was completed in 1955 with the site operational from September 1956.[1] Barnham was constructed as a sister-site to a similar facility constructed a few years before at RAF Faldingworth. Both sites were built to store and maintain free-fall nuclear bombs and Barnham was able to supply the bomber squadrons at Honnington, Marham, Watton, Wyton, Upwood and Bassingbourn. Barnham came under the control of the RAF's No. 94 Maintenance Unit.[2]

    The operational life of Barnham was relatively short. By the early 1960s this type of storage facility became obsolete as free-fall nuclear bombs were superseded as the weapon of choice, for the British Nuclear Deterrent, by the Blue Steel stand-off missile. The storage and maintenance of nuclear weapons moved to the V bomber airfields. The last nuclear weapons were probably removed from the site by April 1963. The site was sold in 1966, and since that date it has been used as a light industrial estate.

    LAYOUT

    The site was built specifically to store and maintain free-fall nuclear bombs, such as Blue Danube. This specific purpose was reflected in the facility's layout: The site was roughly pentagonal in shape. It consisted of three large non-nuclear component stores, surrounded by earthwork banking and a number of smaller storage buildings to hold the fissile cores; the cores were held in stainless steel containers sunk into the ground. The larger buildings stored the bomb casings and the high-explosive elements of the weapons. The smaller stores (known as "Hutches") were constructed to hold the fissile core of the weapons. These hutches were further divided into type 'A' and 'B'. The 'A' type hutches having a single borehole for the storage of Plutonium cores and the 'B' type hutches having a double borehole for storing Cobalt cores. In total, there were 55 hutches giving enough capacity to store 64 fissile cores.

    In addition to the storage buildings, the site consisted of a number of other buildings including a Fire Station, RAF Police flight, Administration block, Mess block, Mechanical Transport Section, Kennels and Workshops. The perimeter of the site was protected by a double system of chain-link fencing and an inner concrete-panel wall; all of which were topped with barbed wire. In 1959, security was enhanced by the building of watch towers around the perimeter.

    THE EXPLORE
    a very relaxed place visited after a break at center parcs just a stone throw away

    PICTURES

    [​IMG]

    where the bomb casings and high explosives were once stored

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    how it once would have looked to my understanding the whole site should look like this soon ish as its now a scheduled monument the inside of the hutches also are being restored

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    one of these on every door

    [​IMG]

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    hutches on the walkways left and right

    thanks for looking
     
    #1 sageman, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2013

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