World War II Radar station 600m east of Bent Rigg Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Scarborough (District Authority)
Stainton Dale
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NZ 98955 00712, NZ 99001 00811, NZ 99146 00827

Reasons for Designation

The introduction of the aircraft as an offensive weapon is significant in the history of 20th century warfare, while the bomber's ability 'always to get through' provided the rationale for strategic air defence systems adopted by Britain from the early 1920s. These systems initially involved early warning, based on the visual spotting and tracking of aircraft, but developed through acoustic detection devices to radar. The principles behind radar were widely recognised by the 1930s, but British technicians were the first to mould the basic science - that an electromagnetic pulse reflected from an object betrays that object's position to a receiver - into a practical means of air defence. Following experimental work at Orfordness and Bawdsey in Suffolk, radar developed through the initial Home Chain, to Chain Home Low (CHL) stations, which filled gaps in low-looking cover left by the original technology. Both were designed for raid reporting, passing information to a central operations room which in turn directed fighters to intercept enemy aircraft. This system was vital in the Battle of Britain. Radar was then adapted during the Blitz of 1940-1 to incorporate a system of Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) by which night fighters were controlled directly rather than via a central operations room. A further addition in 1941 was Coast Defence/Chain Home Low (CD/CHL), a low-cover coastal radar designed to detect surface shipping. Originally manned by the Army, these coastal sites were ultimately handed over to the RAF, thereby unifying the low cover chain. At this time many stations were converted to new and more powerful equipment, known as Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL). Finally, in 1943 Fighter Direction radar was developed to aid Fighter Command in their offensive sweeps over occupied Europe. Many radar stations were reused during the Cold War period for Rotor, a later development of wartime radar. A national survey of radar stations has identified some 242 sites at 200 separate locations - some quite extensive - occupied by radar reporting and control functions during World War II. Thirty-six of these are CHEL sites, some 60% of which survive in some form, though only six are complete or near complete. All of these complete or near complete examples represent developments of earlier radar stations, involving the adaptation of existing fabric. CHEL sites with significant surviving remains representing the site's primary function are considered to be of national importance.

The radar station 600m east of Bent Rigg Farm survives well. Significant evidence of both the radar complex and the administrative and domestic elements will be preserved. The latter are a particularly unusual survival and hence worthy of protection.


The monument includes remains of a World War II radar station at Bent Rigg about 1km south east of Ravenscar on the North Yorkshire coast. The monument is located on gently sloping land close to the cliff edge commanding a wide view across the sea. The monument is in three areas of protection. One area is located 100m from the cliff edge and contains remains of the technical and support buildings. The second area is located 200m to the south west, adjacent to the disused railway line, and contains the footings for the domestic and administrative buildings. The third area is located 40m to the north east of the second area and contains remains of the latrines. Bent Rigg was a Type`M' radar station established in 1941 as part of the national coastal defence Chain Home Low (CD/CHL) system, which was designed to detect surface shipping. It was later converted to more powerful equipment as part of the Chain Home Extra Low system (CHEL). The core elements of the radar station were housed in a cluster of four buildings, the shells of which all still survive intact. The radar equipment was housed in a reinforced concrete built structure known as the Transmitter and Receiving block (TX/RX). The aerial array was located on a metal gantry set on the roof. A number of original features still survive in the building including the blast shutters covering the windows, metal doors and the access ladder to the roof as well some internal fittings. To the south west of the TX/RX building are two smaller buildings 2.5m apart. The southern building is a rectangular concrete structure which was the former engine house containing an electric generator. The northern building is brick built with a cement render and was the fuel store. All three of these buildings followed a standard plan used for structures at radar stations throughout the country. A Nissen hut with a corrugated asbestos roof lies 14m to the south east of the TX/RX building. Various original internal fittings survive within this building including cable clamps and switch bases. To the north east of the TX/RX building there is a small concrete platform which is the footings for a small structure, the use of which is currently unknown. The domestic and administrative buildings are broadly clustered into two groups. There are the foundations for five rectangular buildings measuring 12m by 5m in a line adjacent to the old railway track. These are interpreted as barracks to accommodate the station crew. To the north of this group, adjacent to the field edge there are the footings for a further five buildings of varying plan and dimensions. These are thought to be administrative and further domestic buildings and may have included a mess hut, station commander's accommodation, offices and stores. The remains of all these 11 buildings include concrete and brick foundations, steps, drains and the ends of metal reinforcing rods. The remains of the latrine blocks are located 40m to the north of the administrative buildings. They include the footings for two small structures. There is a vertical clay pipe set at the edge of one and two brick lined drain pits nearby: this and the shape and position of the buildings indicates that they were latrines.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Newman, M, Kenyon, K, Bent Rigg Radar Station:Standing building survey, (2000)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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