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mawganmad
27-12-2010, 20:56
Here is a bit of a puzzler for me which I hope someone can help with.
Ages a go I saw reference to some kind of RAF/AM installation at Carnanton, St Mawgan in Cornwall, but couldn't find out what it was, and I've never heard of anything military being there.
This was before St Mawgan airfield was built which obviously consumed alot of Carnanton, though most of the woods remained north of the wire.
For Christmas I received a quite good (despite first impressions) Battle of Britain book which has pull out AM, Luftwaffe, TNA files and it contains a copy of an AM map of Chain Home radar stations.
Carnanton is highlighted on it, again this is 1940 so well before the airfield was built.
This now the second reference I've seen to the site.

Does anyone here know if there was a CH radar (or indeed other) installation actually built at Carnanton?

P Bellamy
27-12-2010, 21:58
Radarpages have a map (http://www.radarpages.co.uk/mob/ch/chainhome11map.htm) showing it a a CH Station "added between September 1939 and July 1940".
The MoD's Battle of Britain website (http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/10group.html#carnaton) lists it in the 10 Group section as being a CHL Station providing "low level raid cover for the north coast of Cornwall and the southern half of the Bristol Channel Approaches."
RAFWeb's Air of Authority list (http://www.rafweb.org/Stations/Stations_SW.htm) has it as "Carn Brae (Carnaton): Chain Overseas Low Station and Type 31 Radar".

All the best,
PB

mawganmad
28-12-2010, 13:56
Many thanks for that PB, that also solves another question as to why it would be sited on the north coast.

However is there solid evidence that it was actually built, or was it a proposal only?
Also is there a more precise location of where the site was?
What would it have looked like?
If it existed why was it removed by the time of St Mawgans build and was it replaced by Trerew?

Interestingly Carn Brae that you mention is another place in Cornwall, about thirty miles away near Camborne, that would have been an excellent site for a CH Radar site.

Sorry for all the questions, but this fascinates me as I really have never seen or heard (be it local or combat reports etc) of any physical evidence of the Carnaton site.

PS is there a definitive list or map of all CH radar or associated sites built?
Thanks, James

John Cooper
28-12-2010, 14:48
James

Whilst at Mawgan, I recall a place called Carnanton Gate, this was also a crash gate and was at the end of the main runway, opposite end to the sea [on the St Columb Major Road??] This is where we used to pick our mushrooms early in the morning and then nip down into Newqs to flog them to two fruit/Veg merchants, this is of course from memory from 50 years ago............

John Cooper
28-12-2010, 14:53
Interestingly Carn Brae that you mention is another place in Cornwall, about thirty miles away near Camborne, that would have been an excellent site for a CH Radar site.

Thanks, James


Also I was in lodgings at Pool near Camborne where I went to the Tech College there in 1955/56, my bedroom overlooked the Brae and its monument, I had climbed that several times but there was no evidence of a CH station there that I recall but the views from the top were quite spectacular being able to easily see both coasts

mawganmad
28-12-2010, 15:02
Many thanks for your input there John.
Indeed Carnanton gate was used as an entrance on to the station at one time, usually for those housed at St Eval. The northerly dispersals were also named the Carnanton dispersals but the area is probably best known for its massive woods and shooting estate imediately to the north of the northerly airfield perimeter.
It is a very ancient woods with many old and ruined dwellings housed within them.
I must admit I'm fascinated that it might have been a CHL radar site.

I also went to Pool tech, though somewhat later in the 1989-92!
Also enjoyed the odd hike up the Brea where you could enjoy views over both north and south coasts of Cornwall.

mawganmad
29-12-2010, 13:20
Justy bumping this incase anyone else has info on CHL or the Carnanton site.

EGDGZTCW
29-12-2010, 16:31
Interesting this. I have heard of it also and like yourself wondered where it might have been located. Never been able to find out though. There is quite a distance between Carnanton, as we know it, and Carn Brae thats for sure.

Just to add a bit more mystery to this.......when they were surveying the airfield prior to the "transition" I was asked about a large concrete structure that was picked up by the sensors, submerged quite deeply underground in the 12 undershoot, just on the centre line. They scraped the surface but never got down to what ever it was. I am just wondering now, having seen this thread James....could it have been a base for something??....could it be related/ relevant to the sight in question. That said, it's is quite a bit West of the Carnanton that we know.

mawganmad
29-12-2010, 21:55
Thanks for that Chris, can you remember what the sources were for your information or was it word by mouth?
My hunch is that this station was never built as I'm sure we would have something more on it, there certainly hasn't been any local talk of it existing.
A good hour or so on Google Earth reveals nothing either.
It also seems odd to have it there, I can understand providing warning for the n.coast airfields, but that could have been done by the south coast stations.

Re the 12 u/s concrete, all of the area SW of the India/Juliet crossings is an extension and Deer Park hamlet was destroyed in its construction. When the grass areas are parched in the summer some of the old building bases became 'revealed', could the solid lump be something to do with this?

One thing I'm hoping is that someone here can say what a Chain Home Low station consists of?
If it's an aerial and a wooden shed then I can understand why there's no trace, but if it's protected concrete bunkers and large towers as per normal CH stations then that really adds to the mystery.
Where's Carnaby when you need him?!

Carnaby
31-12-2010, 00:18
One thing I'm hoping is that someone here can say what a Chain Home Low station consists of?

Not too far from you MM
http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/m/margam/index.shtml

Graham

mawganmad
04-01-2011, 12:03
Thanks Graham, I have heard about that site and unsubstantated rumours that it might have been demolished very recently.
What are your feelings on Carnanton being a site?

EGDGZTCW
04-01-2011, 19:15
Sorry James for being slow on the response to your earlier post...

I read that there was a site called Carnanton but alas, not sure where I read it. I'm trying to find it but it may have been on the web somewhere.

Yes, I understand your thoughts on Mawgan Cross, Deerpark etc. and that could explain the solid lump in 12 undershoot. I'm going to have a word with one of our DSatco's as he has a map programme from transition, that over lays the layout of this area before the airfield was built in the 40's and the layout now. It may show what the lump is.

I again stress that this may have absolutely nothing to do with any Chain site, Carnanton or otherwise but it may show something.....we'll see

mawganmad
05-01-2011, 19:52
Thanks for that Chris,
I think I have now got to the bottom of this.
After looking at sites (thread and good subrit link report here ,http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?5333-RAF-Trerew-Chain-Home-Station-Cornwall&highlight=trerew) and searching TNA online it seems that the Trerew CH site south of Newquay was actually called Carnanton Trerew in AM files. Why I'm not sure as I certainly don't know of a Carnanton in that area.
The one outstanding question for me is why on some CH location maps the site is actually shown in the St Mawagn area?
A case of deception, or was it originally planned to be sited at Carnanton, St Mawgan but actually built at Trerew ,Cubert?

Carnaby
05-01-2011, 21:07
Only on document in TNA on Carnanton

AVIA 7/468 - R.D.F. chain Carnanton Trerew: operational reports 1940/41

... but several on Trerew, both before and after the above dates.

Graham

papabravo
05-01-2011, 21:52
The book "Radar a wartime miracle" has diagrams of CHL and CHEL stations as follows -
type description
52 circular dish on gantry over nissen hut
53 horizontal cheese on gantry over hut
54a circular dish on 200ft tower with nissen hut at base - tx at top of tower
54b circular dish on lower than 200ft tower, TX in nissen hut at base
55 circular dish on 200ft platform of higher CH tower, TX in hut below
56 circular dish on 185ft wooden tower, TX in nissen hut below
57 self contained mobile radar [on trailer]
TX is an abbreviation for transmitter
The book "Watching the skies" shows Carn Brae on a map of radar stations in Mar. 45 but no mention of Carnanton.

CornwallPhil
17-07-2011, 00:43
The Carn Brae mentioned in this thread as having a radar station is the one down near Land's End airport, not the one between Camborne and Redruth. Cornwall is confusing when so many places have the same name!!! The English Heritage reference to Chain Home Extra Low K169 can be found on their Pastscape website.

CornwallPhil
15-09-2011, 21:37
Carnanton is Chain Home Low Station CHL 18A. According to English Heritage "The site of a Royal Air Force Chain Home Low radar station at Carnanton (SW 871 646), established by 4th June 1940. It provided early warning of low-flying enemy aircraft approaching the north coast of Cornwall and the southern half of the Bristol Channel approaches. The site is currently part of St Mawgan airfield."

http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1477253

The Grid Reference given puts it slap bang in the middle of the runway at St Mawgan! Perhaps it was demolished when Trebelzue was enlarged into St Mawgan?

RAF Trerew was a Chain Home radar station known as CH18 and is the other side of Newquay. This had been established by 18th April 1941 and was also developed in the Cold War as a ROTOR station.

I don't know if any of this helps.

CornwallPhil
15-09-2011, 22:55
Have just checked back on some of my notes and I'd got Trevose Head down as CHL18A. Can anyone cast any light on this confusion?

My guess is because they both fed into CH18. Would that be right?

CornwallPhil
15-09-2011, 23:53
Have just found online an assessment for the Kernow Solar Farm proposal at Carnanton/St Mawgan which says that "Site 7WWII radar station, MCO33255 SW86478 62937 - Four masts indicating the location of a World War II radar station are visible on the 1946 vertical aerial photograph. The position of the masts lie immediately west of the southern end of the site and were plotted by the NMP. It is possible that features associated with the radar station may survive within the site."

If this is correct it would put the radar station in fields east of the A3059 between Trebarber and Trevithick Downs.

Incidently, Cornwall Council announced yesterday that the 14m solar farm was "put on hold."

CornwallPhil
16-09-2011, 00:06
The link below takes you to a Cornwall Council document. Page 22 has a map of the solar farm site.

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:_sufMI1AUU4J:planning.cornwall.gov.uk:8181/rpp/showimage.asp%3Fj%3DPA11/00498%26index%3D11102379%26DB%3D8%26DT%3D4+kernow+ solar+farm&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESi733vGhxOUzBQ3Pbvx63BRsNXGRzGoY8i19ZsQ 4eTHgapqjzA8qWIotPfJNOmybzZ_bVxaOyjqLckkDTEjuE9bh_ 3pCYVn6yWkNtqWLjsw5AGscYfDQmOio4Xo3qvdHyvw6C0R&sig=AHIEtbQTTyaw30fLLhCS_l4TQY6nJ0ez1g

CornwallPhil
04-10-2011, 20:09
This is the only structure I could see from the road that looks possibly WW2-ish:
62796280
No sign of mast bases visible from the gate. It is possible that there could be some concrete bases for huts inside a fenced off facility still part of RAF St Mawgan but was impossible to tell from a distance.

mawganmad
02-11-2012, 23:27
Have just found online an assessment for the Kernow Solar Farm proposal at Carnanton/St Mawgan which says that "Site 7WWII radar station, MCO33255 SW86478 62937 - Four masts indicating the location of a World War II radar station are visible on the 1946 vertical aerial photograph. The position of the masts lie immediately west of the southern end of the site and were plotted by the NMP. It is possible that features associated with the radar station may survive within the site."

If this is correct it would put the radar station in fields east of the A3059 between Trebarber and Trevithick Downs.

Hi Phil, just caught up with this again, the location described and shown on the map was actually the transmitter site for St Mawgan airfield, the same site was in use 80s-90 for the US Navy Seabeas, off the top of my head I think it was Site 10, Site 7 being at Trebelzue.

BTW were were those last pictures taken? It looks like an M&E plinth.

mawganmad
05-11-2012, 13:50
I see where it is now, it's 291 on this plan.
The site is the original St Mawgan H.F. Transmitter Station, you can see the four bases/compounds for the masts on the plan, but certainly they don't show up in later plans or aerial images.
Strangely, given its distance from the airfield, it doesn't carry a seperate site number, just comes under 'Aerodrome Site'.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8208/8157555236_915a32f884_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/56270329@N08/8157555236/)
St Mawgan HF site plan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/56270329@N08/8157555236/) by jamtey71 (http://www.flickr.com/people/56270329@N08/), on Flickr