Bawdsey Radar

Bawdsey Radar

The radar transmitter at Bawdsey offers an interesting day out for all those who are intrigued by Suffolk’s involvement in the Second World War.

In 1935, scientists Watson-Watt and Arnold Wilkins demonstrated that by using a BBC radio transmitter they were able to detect aeroplanes, ships and other targets. This was a huge breakthrough for the British intelligence and armed forces who were approaching the outbreak of WWII. 

The scientists conducted experiments at Orford Ness, and created the first radar system at Bawdsey Manor House.

Two towers were constructed, a 240ft wooden receiver and 360ft steel transmitter, which became the the first chain Home Radar Station.

Bawdsey was identified as a target and fortified in 1939. The station was used as RAF base during the Cold War and finally closed in 1991. 

The exhibition at the Bawdsey Transmitter Block tells the story of a technology and an institution which helped win a war, and explains how the work of British scientists, conducted in Suffolk, laid the foundations for the age of electronics and the computer.

For more information on open days and prices, see the Bawdsey Radar website.

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