Dartmoor Explorations

A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park

RAF HAWKS TOR – World War 2 Chain Home Low Radar Station

RAF Hawks Tor was a Chain Home radar station located below Hawks Tor on Shaugh Moor close to Beatland Corner and the Shaugh Prior / Wotter road. It was known as CH15M (in the chain) and was established by 18th April 1941. The demolition of the base wasn’t particularly thorough and most features are still very discernible to the visitor. The site formed part of the Chain Home RDF system (later known as radar). Principally, the site was used to detect approaching enemy aircraft. This post attempts to record all the salient features of the site which include the footings of : Mast Bases, Transmitter Receiver Blocks, Admin Blocks, Air Raid Shelters and Slit Trenches. The source of information for this post has primarily been from Dartmoor Heritage Gateway (ref 1123713) and ‘Field Archaeology of Dartmoor’ by Dr Phil Newman.

RAF HT Plan
This plan is a adaptation from that found in the English Heritage sponsored ‘Field Archaeology of Dartmoor’ by Dr Phil Newman. Pictures of all the features on this plan are shown in this post.
RAF HT Grid Refs
Table of 10 digit National Grid References for all the features shown on the plan. All NGR’s are 3m accuracy.
Guard Rooms
The concrete bases for the Guard Rooms at SX55000 62269
Guard Hut
The concrete base of Guard Hut at SX54997 62221, at the entrance of the site
Administration Buildings
There are several concrete bases suggesting there were several Administration Buildings (centred at SX55023 62278).
Toilets
Toilets at SX55019 62298 are located to the rear of the Administration Buildings.
Duty Room
The Duty Room at SX55080 62236 can be found adjacent to the internal road (after a right angled bend from the entrance).
Dog Pens
The Dog Pens at SX55016 62257 are adjacent to the Guard Rooms and the Administration Buildings. The outline is still discernible to the visitor.
Mast Base 1
Mast Base 1 at SX55072 62282. There were two transmitting and the receiving masts, each set on four large, tapering concrete blocks up to 1.0m high.
Transmitter Receiver Block 1
Transmitter / Receiver Block 1 at SX55051 62265. Each Mast had a corresponding Transmitter / Receiver Block. Described in the Heritage Gateway thus: “they were single roomed of breeze-block construction with a concrete roof and set partly below ground each with two access points”.
Mast Base 2
Mast Base 2 at SX55135 62238. It is believed that the masts were either wooden or steel construction and may have been up to 120m tall. The two masts on the site are 75m apart.
Transmitter Receiver Block 2
Transmitter Receiver Block 2 at SX55108 62201. The badly damaged remains of a Transmitter Bunker and a Receiver Bunker were probably demolished by explosives.
Generator Base
Between the mast bases is a concrete base which is believed to have housed a generator at SX55107 62262.
Internal Road
Internal road with the Duty Room on the left and the Transmitter Receiver Block 2 at the end.
Gun Emplacement
This small circular earthwork to the north-west of the site is believed to have housed an anti – aircraft gun that served as the station’s air defences. It is located at SX54977 62302.
Slit Trench 1
Around the site are several low mounds containing slit trenches which would have originally been linked by rolls of barbed wire. The picture shows Slit Trench 1 at SX54968 62254.
Slit Trench 2
Slit Trench 2 at SX55123 62264
Slit Trench 3
Slit Trench 3 at SX55145 62221
Slit Trench 4
Slit Trench 4 at SX55195 62204
Slit Trench 5
Slit Trench 5 at SX55129 62147
Air Raid Shelter 1
On the site there are two brick and concrete air raid shelters which have been badly damaged by explosives. The one in the pictures above is in a dangerous condition. Air Raid Shelter 1 at SX55028 62227
Air Raid Shelter 2
Air Raid Shelter 2 at SX55094 62238
Feature A
As well as the concrete bases described there are 7 other “features” around the site, which are concrete construction, the function of which is unknown. Feature A at SX54987 62245
Feature B
Feature B at SX55013 62233
Feature C
Feature C at SX55033 62238
Feature D
Feature D is a depression which has stonework in the base. It can be found at SX55047 62206
Feature E
Feature E at SX55077 62211
Feature F
Feature F at SX55127 62192
Feature G
Feature G at SX55156 62171

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