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RAF Ringstead Radar defence, March 2009

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Evilgenius

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RAF Ringstead March 2009

I have been to this site a number of times over the last few years but this is the only time i managed to get down there in daylight to get some ok'ish pictures and have not seen any posts on this yet so hope you enjoy!


RAF Ringstead was one of the westward additions to the radar chain along the South Coast of England, and entered service after the Battle of Britain had been won, but well before the Allies were assured of final victory. Work on the station commenced in January 1941 and the unit became operational in May of the following year with both Chain Home (CH) and Chain Home Low (CHL) trabsmitter/receivers.

Initially, the operational buildings were above ground and unhardened. Attempts to find a suitable site for a receiver station at either Bowleaze Cove Or Osmington Mills were unsuccessful due to problems with either large local buildings or topography, so in later years the main operational buildings were protected by earthworks alongside and over the top. Today the buildings are very well camouflage with trees and overgrown foliage.

In 1963 the station was handed over to the USAAF 2180th Communications Squadron, who operated a Tropospheric Scatter System until the station's closure in 1973. The controversial 150ft high aerial masts were dismantled and removed in 1974.

There are three of these bunkers two are readily accessible after a rummage through some brambles and the other is in the garden of a local house and it is secure. There are also a few more buildings dotted around the site like Sergeants Mess and pilbox.


What looks like just a hill.
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Main entrance
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Inside one of the bunkers
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Inside one of the other bunkers
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Back door.

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Old picture of main entrance

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The controversial 150ft high aerial masts removed in 1974.

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I have a few more pictures of the other sites here but i didnt think they were worth posting due to poor'er quality.


Thanks for looking!
 

Exploretime

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Wow those aerial masts are HUGE. Looks like a great explore. The old black and white picture makes my eyes go fuzzy,lol. Nice one matey.;)
 

jonney

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nice find mate would love to see the rest of the photo's
 

Foxylady

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A real pity those masts were dismantled...they were amazing! What an explore they'd be, eh! :mrgreen:
Excellent site and history, Dazaf. Radar stations are great. :)
 

Evilgenius

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nice find mate would love to see the rest of the photo's


I will have to get down there again as have only got blury photos of the other buildings down there, theres a pilbox, officers mess, air raid shelter and some old scool garage!

Also seen a picture on the net of another bunker i have not seen so another trip needed for sure!
 

Urban Mole

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Nice find there, and some good pics too, thanks.

I dont suppose you could grab an image from google/flash earth, of the site could you, just curious :)
 

Evilgenius

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Would of been good if them masts were still there, that would of been a fun climb! :)

Thanks for all the good pic comments, took my mrs fandango Fujifilm camera out the other day and i reckon i get better pictures from my dump £60 Argos camera! I aint no photographer so still have a lot to learn in that area though!
 

Evilgenius

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DigitalNoise

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Yet another one you've ticked off my to do list. Stop it, youre making me jealous!!:lol:
 

krela

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I recieved the following via PM with some great info on the site. :)

greyleader said:
Good afternoon
I have recently registered with this site and I am enjoying it very much. A little background on the USAF portion of RAF Ringstead. This was a part of the 2180 Communications Squadron, Detachment 6. The huge antenna were 200 by 200 feet with feed horns in front of each. Equipment was two tropo transmitters that ran 50 thousand watts each (50kw) sending signals to Spain some 514 miles distant. There were 4 receivers that brought the information in and this information was changed and sent out over Marconi microwave across the bay to Portland. Here there was a repeater site that sent this information on to Bulbarrow Hill and on to Dean Hill and Golden Pott Towers. Finally arriving at High Wycombe Air Base. This system was a part of early warning with radar information coming from sites in Eastern Turkey going to Colorado.
The system was replaced in early 70's with satellite communications. I spent 7 years working at the Ringstead site. Loved every minute of it.
 

wirelessmast

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Great pics. Thanks for the info here, im going to link to it from another forum, where a member has been researching the old USAF station that is now his farmland on Portland Bill! Im thinking that the billboard reflectors shown might well be the site of his farm now. Although im sure someone will correct me regarding the location if im wrong, his station was part of 486L MEDCOM.
 

godzilla73

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Fascinatingi info - especially the Tropo-scatter stuff. I assume this was at least vaguely connected in some way to the Ace High or Mold projects (Coldblow Lane, Stenigot, Swingate)?
GDZ
 

wirelessmast

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Fascinatingi info - especially the Tropo-scatter stuff. I assume this was at least vaguely connected in some way to the Ace High or Mold projects (Coldblow Lane, Stenigot, Swingate)?
GDZ

According to Subrit, this site was an additional ACE HIGH link to Spain.

I had thought it was possibly the MEDCOM link to the Balaerics, but sadly not. But i passed a link to this thread and one to the subrit site to the chap who was researching his land on Portland. He was most interested in the pictures of the antenna arrays.

Portland it seems is riddled with interesting stuff (not counting my dad, who is intertesting but probably only to prosecution lawers!) and some of it i think is on this guys farmland. His farm is being set up for visitors, so i will ask him about a bit of urbex on his site!

Annoyingly i didnt know about the MEDCOM site on Menorca until i spotted it from the bus heading to Mahon airport! Its on the list for next time.

Link to his farm site www.fancysfarm.co.uk
 

greyleader

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RAF Ringstead 486L System

Reading the notes above here is additional information on the Portland USAF microwave repeater site. The site is/was located just out past the prison. It was a repeater site that was part of the link going up to High Wycombe and also out of Spain. Marconi microwave in both directions (one to Ringstead, one to Bulbarrow Hill) This system passed communications and radar information from Diyarbakir Turkey back to NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain. The Southern Link as it was known went from High Wycombe USAF Base to Golden Pott Tower, then on to Dean Hill near Salisbury. From here it went to Bulbarrow Hill near Blandford and then on to Portland Bill where it was forwarded to RAF Ringstead Tropo scatter site. From Ringstead it went via Troposperic scatter to Spain and on. Each repeater site had 5 each USAF personnel to operate it with exception of the site at Ringstead. This one had 21 personnel with an officer in charge of it.
 

Evilgenius

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Nice, thanks for the info only just this.

Also went for another walk down there since I posted this repot, If you park in the Ringstead bay car park and follow the cost path east there is another bunker that is in the middle of a feild and much better preserved than the rest.

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Cheers

Daz
 

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