Abandoned Cold War Radar Dishes at RAF Stenigot

stenigot-radar-dishes-abandoned (Image: Urban Spaceman, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

Echoes of Cold War Britain abound across the Lincolnshire Wolds, from the neglected hangars of the former RAF Binbrook to military airbases that remain active today. But one of the most interesting scenes is that of four massive radar dishes abandoned at the decommissioned RAF Stenigot. Once part of the the NATO communications system known as Allied Command Europe (or ACE High), the massive tropospheric scatter dishes make for a somewhat incongruous sight amid the rolling farmland.

stenigot-radar-dishes-abandoned-2 (Image: Urban Spaceman, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

RAF Stenigot was built during World War Two as part of the Chain Home radar network covering the approaches to Sheffield, Nottingham and the central midlands. The giant radar dishes were added in 1959 when the base was upgraded to provide early warning during the Cold War. Operated under high security for decades, RAF Stenigot was decommissioned towards the end of the 1980s and partially demolished by 1996.

stenigot-radar-dishes-abandoned-3 (Image: David Wright, cc-sa-4.0)

The radar tower, which is visible from miles around, is now Grade II listed, marking this peaceful area’s contribution to the defence of Britain throughout the twentieth century. Still used for the training of RAF recruits, the tower even features a memorial at the top to a former serviceman. Despite being decommissioned, RAF Stenigot remains behind a security fence, its abandoned radar dishes lying on the edge of a farmer’s field at the back of the site. Explore more abandoned radar stations here.

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