Raf Bempton

(Formely Known as Flamborough Head)

Arial view taken 2010

RAF Bempton, Early Warning Station RAF Bempton was originally RAF Flamborough Head, a WW2 GCI (Ground Control Interception) Radar Site which opened in 1940, a few hundred feet from the lighthouse at Flamborough Head. This was at an elevation of 130 feet, at this height performance proved to be very unsatisfactory.  A new higher site was found four miles up the coast on the 350 foot cliffs at Bempton this was disbanded in 1945.

After this it became an Air Ministry Experimental Station, and was established as a CHL/CHEL Radar station in 1949.  

[Chain Home Low (CHL) Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) was the name of a British early warning radar system operated by the RAF during World War II.  The name refers to CHL’s ability to detect aircraft flying at altitudes below the capabilities of the original Chain Home radars, where most CHL radars were co-located. CHL could reliably detect aircraft flying as low as 500 feet (150 m).]

It then transferred to Fighter Command and was rebuilt under the ROTOR program as a CEW ROTOR site with an underground R1 Bunker.

[ROTOR was a huge and elaborate air defence radar system built by the British Government in the early 1950s to counter possible attack by Soviet bombers. The system was built up primarily of war-era radar systems, and was used only briefly before being eventually replaced by the more modern Linesman/Mediator system.]

It remained in this appearance of 146 Signals Unit till 1961 when it became a satellite of RAF Patrington (later RAF Holmpton) until final closure in 1972.  The site was disposed of in the early 1980’s and has been derelict ever since.

The underground R1 Operations Bunker was scheduled to be constructed in 1953 but was not fully complete until 1956, although it was equipped with a Type 80 Radar at the time of completion. The site was designated a satellite station to the nearby RAF Holmpton, which had been newly designated as a Comprehensive Radar Site with an underground R3 Bunker.

The site was also used as an experimental site for the Codenamed ‘Winkle’ High Speed Passive Radar.

Currently the site is in very poor condition due to vandals who have set fires causing a lot of damage and graffiti in the lower bunkers, during the 1970’s this large underground bunker complex was occupied by a Satanical witches cult.  The R.A.F had to evict the occult from the coven.  A large amount of sinister graffiti to be seen down there is a legacy of this, also a frequent spot for searches for missing people, An 18 year old local teenager went missing while visiting the extensive bunker system here in 2010, his car was found nearby, but there has been no trace of him since.

The main stairwell has had its steps removed preventing people from going to the bunker and concrete slabs over other ways in and soon were lead to believe the demolition of the out buildings.

The Guard House


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Researched and compiled by Martyn Owst

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