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April 2005
Military buildings in the county
Photo gallery image
Index: 01 | 02 | 03

LONGCROFT WIRELESS HUT, NEAR RNAS ANTHORN

The remote village of Anthorn, sited on a blunt peninsula 13 miles west of Carlisle, was once home to a busy, thriving Naval air-station. Originally a WWI landing-strip in the vicinity of the now-demolished Solway House, the site was reinstated by the RAF at the start of WWII as an Emergency Landing Ground for RAF Silloth.

The Royal Navy bagged the site in December 1942, building RNAS Anthorn, eventually being commissioned in September 1944, and given the title 'HMS Nuthatch' . RNAS Anthorn operated well past WWII as No:1 ARDU (Aircraft Receipt and Dispatch Unit), and the last 'official' aircraft left the runway in November 1957. The base was put into 'mothballs', finally closing down in March 1958.

There are still the remains of electrical lighting conduits and fittings within. Building construction is typical MOWP pattern (Ministry Of War Production), but constructed of red tiled bricks, rather than the conventional method of stretcher-bonded regular bricks. The asbestos roof and end-vents are the same as on the standard MOWP hut. Most of the windows have been bricked in. The angle-iron tower support bases are still visible, and it is possible to see where the wooden tower was felled.

There is a similar building at the other end of Longcroft.

Russell W. Barnes
Defence of Cumbria website »

This building at Longcroft Farm, Nr. Anthorn, is owned by my family and you my be inerested to know the story of how we came to own it

The land that it is built on was compulsorily purchased by the Admirality from the Dugdale Family.

The building and it's associated masts, tower and ariel wires were built and used by HMS Nuthatch untill the station closed.

The Admirality approached my Father, from whom the land was originally purchased and tried to sell him the land back and charging him for the building that you see in the picture.

Fortunately for the Dugdale Family, my Father still had the original paperwork drawn up by the Admiality at the time of the compulsory purchase and in this paperwork it states that when the admirality were finished with the land it had to go back to the original owner at the price that was payed for it. ( I think the price was somewhere in the region of £200.)

If I remember rightly the Admirality were wanting to charge my Father £2,500 for the return of the site with the building. However, my father put it to the Admirality that the site had to be returned to the origional owners for the price that it was purchased for and that the site had to be cleared back to it's original state.

As the clearing of the site would have cost the Admirality a lot more than the £2,500 they were asking my Father to pay, and in view of the Paperwork held by my Father they finally agreed to leave the building up and sell him the site back for £200 complete with masts and building.

Mr. H.B.Dugdale

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