Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: RAF Murlough Bay, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland, December 2018

  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 2013
    Location
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
    Posts
    4,639
    Thanked
    9001

    Default RAF Murlough Bay, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland, December 2018


    1. The History
    Quite a lot of info about this place, mostly courtesy of the excellent Subbrit website. This is a summarised version about the base from said site.

    The third and final stage of the ROTOR air-defence Programme from the 1950s. This stage was to provide radar cover for the north-west of the British Isles which were still exposed to attack and to give low and surface level cover over the Atlantic. 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. It was the aim to have the programme completed by 1957 and all technical aspects were classified as 'Super Priority'. Until then, arrangements were made via the use of mobile equipment in an emergency.

    A consequence of this was a new Western sub-sector in Northern Ireland to control the air defence units in the area, including the new Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) facilities at Killard Point, the existing CH station at Castle Rock and the new CH station at Murlough Bay. GCI was an air defence tactic where one or more radar stations or other observational stations are linked via a command communications centre which guides interceptor aircraft to an airborne target.

    Plan of the station courtesy of Bob Jenner and Nick Catford:

    murlough_bay_plan by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The site chosen for RAF Murlough Bay (URB) overlooked 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 due to potential adverse weather conditions. The site had two radars; one Type 14 Mk. IX search radar on a gantry and one Type 13 Mk. VII height finder on a plinth. Additionally, a standby set house was located alongside the technical block. The proposed completion date for the station was April 1956. The base had no married quarters or camp as personnel were billeted in hotels in Ballycastle and the base was accessed via a steep access road running north from Torr Road. The hill was surrounded by chain-link fencing (although now just the concrete fence-posts remain).

    Despite a significant outlay, the station had a very short operational life as it became inactive by 1958. Despite this, the R11 technical block remains in reasonable condition and has been put to agricultural (livestock) usage. Internally, though, the complex has been almost completely gutted, including the removal of the false-teak flooring in the spine corridor and all the rooms. Only the air conditioning plant room did not have a false floor and all the plant and switchgear has been stripped out leaving four small brick-built rooms that held banks of filters and a number of concrete mountings and engine beds.

    The domestic rooms are located at the north end of the building, at the end of a short side corridor and included male and female toilets and a small kitchen. Again, these have been completely stripped of fixtures and fittings, bar a single male urinal. A wing at the east end of the building housed a sub-station but again this has been stripped and external doors removed. Nearby, the standby set house is also stripped except for girder running the length of the building at ceiling level which would have been for a movable hoist. It has two wings each with no access to the main part of the building; one of has been fitted out as an office probably for when the site was being used for livestock. Two modern radio masts are now sited on the hilltop overlooking the technical block, one small mast in a new purpose-built building and one within the original Rotor enclosure.

    2. The Explore
    Spotted this place when driving on Torr Road the previous day, I decided to get up the next morning and drive back over to the base. The combination of sunrise, cloudy skies and a cold wind made this a pretty grim visit. I didnít see a single car on the road in the immediate area let alone a single soul. The feeling was one of complete desolation and isolation. Although all this didnít make for great photography, it did give me this very tangible feeling which suited the place. So not one for a big detour but if you find yourself in the neck of Northern Ireland, worth half-an-hour of your time.

    3. The Pictures

    img0350bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Outlying building:

    img0382 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Öand the rear looking out to sea:

    img0353 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This bit was used by the farmer for an office post-decommissioning:

    img0355 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0356 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Think this is the standard set house:



    img0377 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    img0360 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0363 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0367 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Broken windows in the main block:

    img0361 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Main corridor in main block:

    img0362 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Outside looking in:

    img0370 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The GPO apparatus room:

    img0374 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The Air Conditioning Room:

    img0375 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    One of the currently operative transmitters:

    img0377 by HughieDW, on Flickr


    Overview of the R11 technical block:

    img0378 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0380bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And the original perimeter fencing posts:

    img0379 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: etc100, Hugh Jorgan, KPUrbex, krela, Mearing, Newage, noiseboy72, oldscrote, theartist
  3.  
     
  4. #2
    Join Date
    September 2005
    Location
    Bristol, UK.
    Posts
    9,955
    Thanked
    6186

    Default


    Enjoyed that, thanks Hughie!

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
    Join Date
    February 2015
    Location
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,420
    Thanked
    1583

    Default


    Nicely done and the write up is interesting. Looks like it's in a bleak location.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  7. #4
    Join Date
    January 2013
    Location
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
    Posts
    4,639
    Thanked
    9001

    Default


    Quote Originally Posted by krela View Post
    Enjoyed that, thanks Hughie!
    Cheers mate. Much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    Nicely done and the write up is interesting. Looks like it's in a bleak location.
    It really was Hugh. Desolation personified...

  8. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan
  9. #5
    Join Date
    August 2018
    Posts
    5
    Thanked
    1

    Default


    Nice report Hughie, it really is very picturesque area, overlooking the sea. I stopped by there last summer after finding it on Google Maps. Did you find the dead sheep inside? That was a bit of a surprise! :-D

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 15th Jan 19, 20:53
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13th Jan 19, 14:30
  3. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10th Jan 19, 12:48

About us
DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
Follow us