Mid Wales

Criggion radio station: Ex-WWII centre 'left to rot'

Criggion radio station
Image caption Criggion was built in WWII and used to keep the Admiralty in contact with Navy ships around the world

A formerly secret World War II and Cold War naval communications centre in Powys has been branded a blot on the landscape after years of vandalism.

The Criggion radio station near Welshpool shut a decade ago but since then has been "abandoned and left to rot", claims a local councillor.

Graham Brown said its buildings were the target of thieves and windows had been smashed.

Owner BT is reviewing the site's future and says it will clear the rubbish.

For 60 years the Criggion station and its three 700ft (210m) radio masts and three 600ft (180m) towers were a part of the scenery near Welshpool on the Powys/Shropshire border.

Built during WWII, it was used to keep the Admiralty in contact with Royal Navy ships around the world.

Image caption Graham Brown says the station has been abandoned

When the war ended the site became a signal relay station for nuclear submarines during the Cold War, as well as for overseas telephone communications.

It closed in 2003 and the masts were demolished, but the 10 or so buildings soon became a target for thieves and vandals, said Mr Brown, a local Powys county councillor.

Mr Brown said: "BT has made promises before to clear the rubbish. They do something in the short term but then the site gets back into a bad state again.

"The buildings have been boarded up but the timber around the doorways has been removed and anyone can get in.

"Glass has been smashed and is all over the floor inside and thieves have taken all the wiring and anything else of note inside the buildings."

Mr Brown said beer cans also littered the buildings inside and out.


They are in the shadow of Rodney's Pillar, a monument erected in 1782 on the summit of the nearby Breidden hill.

"The area is popular with walkers heading for Rodney's Pillar, but the buildings are a blot on the landscape," added Mr Brown, who is also the Powys council cabinet member responsible for regeneration and planning.

"There's a quarry nearby but that's a working environment - the old Criggion station has been abandoned and left to rot and decay."

A spokesman for BT said: "BT is considering its position as leaseholder of this site and the site's future is currently under review.

"We will visit the site in the coming weeks to remove any rubbish that may have been dropped there. "

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