Report - - RAF Dunkirk, Chain Home Radar Station, Kent. September 2020 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Dunkirk, Chain Home Radar Station, Kent. September 2020

Urban Ginger Hog

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
A WW2 Chain Home Radar station first built in 1936. Originally consisting of eight transmitter towers and a compound, only one tower and the compound now survive. It was later used as part of Operation Rotor, the early warning system created in the 1950s. The station closed in 1958. A number of features survive in and around the compound area. The site is a Scheduled Monument.

Successful experiments during the early 1930’s led to the implementation of a chain of Radio Direction Finding Stations. Dunkirk was one of the first five operational stations which made up the so-called Estuary Chain Home layout, established in 1936-38. Initially established as a single tower transmitter only site in 1936, Dunkirk was upgraded to a transmitter/receiver station the following year, with the subsequent addition of eight further towers. The station played a vital role in Britain’s domestic air defence throughout the war, particularly during the Battle of Britain and the V-weapon attacks of 1944-45.

After the war Dunkirk became one of 32 stations in the first phase of the programme to restore Britain’s air defence control and reporting system during the early Cold War period, known as Operation Rotor. However, by the 1950’s Britains radar had entered a new era, to counter the threat of guided weapons, and by 1958 the station had closed and it’s equipment sold. All but one of the radar towers were demolished the following year. The surviving tower was retained by the MOD and remains in use for communication purposes. The transmitter tower is Listed Building Grade II, and not included as part of the SAM.

The stations roughly north-south rectangular compound occupies an area of some 500m by 600m. It was enclosed by a 3m high spiked steel railings, part of which survive on the southern and eastern edge. Sections of an outer, flanking ditch are also visible. The internal layout of the station, which is largely unaffected by later development, followed the standard compact design common to all east coast stations. It technical equipment was concentrated in two large rectangular buildings, known as the Receiver and Transmitter Blocks. For blast protection these brick and concrete structures were externally embanked with a 1.7m thick layer of shingle enclosed with the roof. The shingle has been removed form the Transmitter Block, although both buildings retain their other forms of blast protection as well as their internal layout.

There is a surprising amount of information to be found online, so will limit my input from such to a minimum so there is more for the reader to discover for themselves.

The Explore:
A good pal showed me around this location a few years back, was impressed by his knowledge of the area and absolutely loved the place. Now it was my turn to pass on the favour and show some other friends this place. As with my first and last explore, the volume of litter, graffiti and damage was evident throughout the compound but hadn't appeared to have gotten any worse. After a few shots of the main building we moved onto some of the other sections, which lay in neighbouring fields. There was a particular building I was eager to see as my first visit had missed this out as my friend pointed out the large Doberman running around in the field which apparently enjoyed biting the jacobs of any trespasser. Walking through woods in which I was positive my pals were heading in the wrong direction, we came up right next to it. Although no crazy killer dogs or owners could be seen, just to be sure I sent a pal over the fence and into the field first (rather you than me pal lol). When I was certain he wasn't gonna be mauled to death my other mate and I joined him. A quick walk around and we came out very disappointed. As we came out I saw another interesting looking structure near by, which had llamas outside of it!!! It was at this point that I discovered that my associates didn't fancy getting too close to the llamas so we decided to call it a day. Perhaps this was a good omen, knowing my luck its probably where the Doberman was.

Now for a few photo's of the main building as well as some of the surrounding sections.



















Till next time people, and remember to stay away from crazy Dobermans and scary Llamas

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Photographs nice. Looks like its vastly spread. I was sure I had been here from the 1st shot, but then the photos became unfamiliar. Good write up, I will have a further read about this place. Cheers for sharing :thumb

Urban Ginger Hog

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Photographs nice. Looks like its vastly spread. I was sure I had been here from the 1st shot, but then the photos became unfamiliar. Good write up, I will have a further read about this place. Cheers for sharing :thumb
There are quite a few smaller sections scattered around the surrounding fields, and definitely worth a look


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Drove past this today, didn't stop as it was lashing down with rain (Must be getting old)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice pics! Have put it on my 'To Do' list for next year! Did you just hop over the gate?

Gaggle of gays

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
We where thinking of visiting this soon we where told u can just hop the gate on courtenay rd although we see theres a public footpath on the otherside of it my be a better entry point incase the local farmer doesn't like visitors