The transmitter block in the grounds of Bawdsey Manor has been chosen
as one of the finalists for the new series of Restoration which
begins on Saturday 8th May on BBC TWO.
Suffolk-based Griff Rhys Jones presents the programme to launch
the 2004 Restoration campaign. He will also announce the 21 historic
buildings that viewers will be able to vote for this summer.
transmitter block at RAF Bawdsey
Grade II* listed status, the T-block was built between 1937 and
1939. It is now very overgrown and rather mysterious.
WW2 pillboxes encircle the windswept site and at one time the surrounding
land was heavily mined because at the start of the last war this
was one of the most important buildings in England and pivotal to
our victory in the Battle of Britain. It is the world's first radar
1936, the RAF bought Bawdsey Manor, an isolated Victorian pile on
a particularly desolate part of our Suffolk coastline. In it they
housed a remarkable group of boffins, including the physics genius
Professor Robert Watson-Watt.
Their task was to develop the nascent radio direction finding technology
into an operational device that could detect approaching enemy aircraft
from a great distance.
Their invention - Radar - could do just that and Bawdsey became
the first of a chain of Radar stations that surrounded the south-east
They located the enemy and directed our spitfires and hurricanes
to the Luftwaffe formations before they reached the coast.
work carried out here was so secret that the public only found out
about it after the war. Even today, the story of Bawdsey, its Radar
and the women who operated it is little known, despite it being
of equal importance to the code-breakers of Bletchley Park.
transmitter block at Bawdsey Manor will be up against Newstead Abbey,
Nottinghamshire and the Old Grammar School & Saracens
Head, Kings Norton.
2003 in Suffolk »
on Restoration 2004 »