Report - - RAF Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RAF Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014


Hooked on curiosity
28DL Full Member
Type 14 radar photo

All from Subterranea Britannica web site


Riding round the north-eastern coast of Northern Ireland on our motorbike we found this place and stopped for a mooch. Initially disappointing, but with a small gem in the last door I looked in.

The history: The final stage of the ROTOR Programme (Rotor 3) was to provide radar cover for the north and west of the British Isles, which were still exposed to attack, and to give low and surface level cover over the Atlantic, the absence of which prevented effective action against low flying enemy aircraft.

Rotor 3 included five new Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) stations equipped with Stage 1 radar equipment to enable detection and tracking of low flying aircraft. The proposed stations were at Kilchiaran, Murlough Bay, Prestatyn, Snaefell and West Myne (demolished). These were to be heavily built operations blocks, designated R11; the above ground version of an R2 bunker.
It was hoped that The ROTOR 3 programme would be complete by 1957 and all technical aspects were classified as 'Super Priority'. Until they were completed arrangements were made to use mobile equipment in an emergency.

The site chosen for RAF Murlough Bay (Rotor code URB) was a green field site on a plateau overlooking the sea one and a half miles south west of Murlough Bay on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. An above ground R11 technical block was chosen because of the adverse weather conditions. Two radars were to be provided, one Type 14 Mk. IX search radar on a gantry and one Type 13 Mk. VII height finder on a plinth. A standby set house was to be located alongside the technical block. The station was to be equipped with six 60A consoles, one 61 console and two video map units. The proposed completion date for the station was April 1956.

Original plan of main building


Murloch Bay did have one of these radars but this picture is somewhere else.


Despite the large outlay, the station had a very short operational life being reduced to inactive status by 1958. Two modern radio masts are now sited on the hilltop overlooking the technical block and within the original Rotor enclosure. Externally, the R11 technical block is in fair condition with open doors and windows, many with their glass still intact; it has now been put to agricultural use.

Corridor of sheep shit - didn't venture too far down here as it was obvious it had been stripped out and used for animals


Inside the R11 block - the air-con unit


The stand-by set house


Inside the stand-by set house


View over the site - really quit peaceful with the view of the sea beyond the building


Close to the road, concrete steps lead down to the base of a demolished building, which was the guardhouse. A smaller extant building alongside was for the police dogs. Internally this building has a number of half height partition walls which was the dog food preparation area. The filter beds for the sewage works can also still be seen close to the boundary


Washing up required


1997 calendar - Readers tractors


Artifical insemination? What on earth is that...


Tea time


Farmer's base


Enjoyed this explore


28DL Colonial Member
28DL Full Member
Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

Artifical insemination? What on earth is that...

new contest ! guess the what-cha-ma-call-it!

being a Mechanical Engineering Technician (at least that's what it says on the piece of paper . . . :rolleyes: ) & the site being involved with electrical stuff, I'd hazard a guess of a desoldering tool on the left & some sort of cable insulation stripper on the right

. . . next . . .;)


28DL Member
28DL Member
Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

Being of farming history.. and for some reason my first post..

I'm pretty sure this is used to inject some sort of solution in to sheep.. it would be attached a large backpack style thing..

potentially in protection against worms/flys/liverfluke?


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: RAF Murloch Bay, Northern Ireland July 2014

Nice report,have seen this place on DOB website and a couple of others,fascinating age of warfare I think.nicely covered.

Oxygen Thief

Staff member
Nice report, thanks.

Just one thing though, in future please give credit to the history and pictures. Thread edited by request of copyright owner.


Hooked on curiosity
28DL Full Member
Apologies! Terrible case of plageurism as it was the only source we could find. I do usually give a nod to the origin of the info :)