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Cold War relics | by Suzy J Barker
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Cold War relics

RAF Stenigot was a Royal Air Force Radar Station in operation between 1938-1955, and it was a vital piece of a communications network that prevented both German attacks during World War II and Russian air strikes in the years following.

Originally built in 1938 as part of the “Chain Home” network, the station did not initially feature any large dishes. In the beginning the site had an octet of aerial towers; four for receiving, four for transmitting. These were supported by some low-lying buildings and stood on large concrete pads. This initial installation was in place to intercept German air raids.

Once WWII ended, the site was retooled to serve as a NATO-run early warning system to warn against Russian airstrikes. To this end, four huge, 60-foot-wide parabolic dishes were installed, replacing the previous towers. This new network carried the jaunty name, “ACE High,” standing for “Allied Command Europe.” While this newer version of the station performed well, the whole site was decommissioned in the 1980s, and by 1996 the entire station was all but dismantled. The site is now managed by the Ministry of Defence.

However, some remnants still remain. The most impressive relics of the base are the four massive parabolic dishes that have been taken down from their mountings and and moved to a nearby field. Today the disused dishes simply rust away as enormous relics of wars gone by.

 

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Uploaded on January 8, 2017