RAF Murlough Bay ‘URB’ CHEL R11 ROTOR Radar Station, County Antrim

RAF Murlough Bay was an R11 ‘Chain Home Extra Low’ ROTOR radar station in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was built as a hardened above ground radar station, unlike the below ground bunkers as in the more eastern parts of the British Isles.  Due to its heavily exposed position (trust us on this, the wind up on the head is something else!) a prefabricated R8 ‘SECO’ construction would not have been suitable.

The site was equipped with 2 radars, 1 x type 14 search radar, and a type 13 height finder. as well as remote VHF transmitters and receivers about 1.5 miles from the technical site. A standby generator (as with other surface sites) was located alongside the technical site, rather than remotely at the buried sites. There was no characteristic guardhouse ‘bungalow’ as a guardroom was incorporated within the R11 building and a small RAF Police house was located at the entrance, with adjacent kennels.

The station was scheduled to open in April 1956, and was closed in 1958.  This is presumably due to advances in RADAR and changes in the ROTOR program.

Presently, the site today is now used for agricultural purposes. The floor has been removed through out and animals appear to be housed in it over winter, there is also evidence parts of it are used for lambing. Evidence remains of its previous life though as there are still fittings and fixtures in various rooms; although all of it is in a quite advanced state of disrepair. All the glass is intact and the building provides a surprising respite from the wind.


Modified: 25th Sep 2016