Report - RAF Bawdsey R3 ROTOR Radar Station - October 2016

  • Welcome to - 28DL - The UK Urban Exploring / Urban Exploration / Urbex Forums.

    Asylums and Hospitals, High Stuff, Industrial, Leisure Sites, Residential Sites, Military Sites, Mines and Quarries, ROC Posts, Theatres and Cinemas, Draining, Underground Sites, European and International Sites, Leads, Rumours and News, Kit, Clothing, Equipment, Photography and Video sections plus a lot more.

    Please feel free to browse this website as a guest. Creating an account removes some ads, allows you to post replies, start new topics and threads, and gives you access to more features including bookmarking, live chat, messaging and notification systems.

    Create an account | Login | Request new password


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Mar 19, 2016
Some History from the Cold War era

In January 1963 Bloodhound were regrouped under Master Radar Station status at Bawdsey and Patrington but in June 1964 Bawdsey lost its Master Radar station Status and became a satellite to Neatishead. This status was regained in February 1966 following the disastrous fire in the R3 control centre at Neatishead.

By 1972 the Type 54 had been removed and a reflector for a microwave link was attached to the tower.

The following March Bawdsey closed and was placed on care and maintenance. In 1977 the ROTOR period plinths, Type 80 modulator building and 200' Type 54 tower were demolished.

In August 1979 Bawdsey reopened as a Bloodhound Mk2 surface to air missile site operated by C flight of No 85 Squadron. It was divided into 2 missile sections, each equipped with 6 launchers and a Type 87 fire control radar. The Type 84 modulator building (R17) was retained as a crew room and store for Bloodhound armament handling flight. A new control room was established in the R3 bunker to administer the missile control site. The new storage sheds and storage bays and protective wall are all of Bloodhound origin.

From 1984 - 85 Strike Command's (UKAIR) Interim Alternative War HQ was established in the R3 operations block while a new Strike Command Bunker was being built at High Wycombe, during the construction period the bunker at Bawdsey was given a short new lease of life. The R3 was given a refit and much new equipment was installed. At this time the central operations room was altered and a new control cabin installed above. When the new bunker at High Wycombe was ready the team pulled out of Bawdsey, their equipment was stripped and the bunker was abandoned.

In 1988 two Type 87 radar heads were removed and replaced by 2 Type 86 Radar Caravans mounted on platforms on top of the Type 87 plinths.

On 31st May 1990 the Bloodhound force ceased operations and in June all the missiles were withdrawn to RAF West Raynham. The RAF Ensign was lowered for the last time on the 25th March 1991 and the station closed on the 31st March.

The Explore

Thanks to BobBob for the help with access. It was a nice day and the plan was to get inside as quick as possible in case we got told to leave.

When arriving the main drive was cleared and there was a couple of car parked, so was expecting to see others. Eventually found the access and heard music coming up. As we progressed down we met a group of people banging about. I thought here we go some metal thief’s but i was wrong.

They were actually tidying up the place and relaying the boards. Excellent job but there was loads of mess still to clear. If they see this i wish them well with the clear up. It was nice to see some locals trying to look after the place.

Anyhow back to the explore. I was told the air was stuffy but it was actually pretty good except for the wet bit at the Guardhouse entrance. Having been on the Neatishead tour the day before and viewing other peoples posts it was easy to find my away around. I’m glad I had good torches things don’t get any blacker. The bunker was pretty trashed but many large item were still intact. I wish i had more time to explore as i missed the biggest room in the place. The old ops room. For everyone who doesn’t know why the windows were blacked out in the bawdsey one, it was because it was turned into a large conference room.

This was my first proper use of light painting so some photos are better than others. Thanks for viewing