Site Records

Site Name: RAF Pevensey - Chain Home Radar Station

Pylons Farm
East Sussex
OS Grid Ref: TQ644072

Sub Brit site visit 10.1987 & 1.5.2004

[Source: Nick Catford]

RAF Pevensey is located on Manxey Level, a part of the Pevensey Levels, half a mile to the west of the Pevensey to Wartlng Road. The site is entered at the end of a dead end public road. The original gate posts still stand and just inside the gate there is an air raid shelter on the left hand side of the road and the two Air Ministry wardens houses on the right hand side of the road; these are now renamed Pylons Cottages. After 200 yards Pylons Farm house stands on the right hand side of the road. The farm house is a modern bungalow standing on the site of the transmitter block which was demolished in December 1987. A concrete guying anchorage point can be seen in the field beyond the farm house. It is unclear what purpose this served as the transmitter towers were not guyed.

The original concrete road continues in a south westerly direction towards the receiver block which can be seen in the distance. After a further 100 yards a road turns off to the east, opposite this junction there is another air raid shelter on the south side of the road, the front has been removed and it is now used as a store.

Photo:The stand-by set house in October 1987 - this has now been changed out of all recognition
Photo by Nick Catford

Turning right at the junction the stand-by set house is reached after 100 yards. When visited in 1987 this was still standing and in good condition but today it has changed out of all recognition. The brick built stand-by set house has been demolished leaving the blast walls that surrounded the building. The southern wall has been removed to create an open front and a new hipped roof was added in 2003. The earth banks surrounding the blast walls have also been largely removed. The building is now used as a farm machinery store.

The main spine road carries on in a south westerly direction passing another air raid shelter on the left and the foundations of other buildings on the right. After a further 150 yards the receiver block is reached. This is the only one of the three protected blocks still standing in anything like its original condition. The block still retains its earth traverse with two ways through to a ring path around the outside of the brick building. Inside the building the partition walls are still in place maintaining the original room layout although all the rooms have been stripped of any original fittings. The floorboards in the main spine corridor have also been removed making access through the difficult as the underfloor area is flooded.

Photo:The receiver block with one of the mast bases to the left
Photo by Nick Catford

The main tiled receiver room is at the north west end of the building, this has a long rectangular open cable duct in the floor. The ventilation plant room has a number of small concrete beds. There is ventilation trunking in the building with some sections of it lying on the floor. On the south side of the building there is a Stanton air raid shelter which is flooded.

The four receiver tower bases are arranged in a rhombic pattern around the operations block, each of them consisting of four large concrete bases each supporting one leg of the tower. Underneath the southern tower are the collapsed remains of the original IFF hut. A concrete path runs south from the operations block to the collapsed remains of the later IFF hut.

The two buried reserves are 75 yards apart in a field 150 yards to the south of the main spine road. The transmitter buried reserve to the east has four concrete bases for the transmitter tower.

Photo:The transmitter buried reserve
Photo by Nick Catford

Close by are the three concrete hatches mounted on rollers flush with the ground. The larger pair were for plant and the smaller hatch which opens on to a steel stairway was for personnel. None of the hatches will now move but there is sufficient space to see through and the bunker is flooded just below the middle landing on the stairway. When visited in 1987 it was possible to open the hatch and descend the ladder down to the floodwater. Close by there are the remains of two ventilator towers and the hatch for the emergency exit. This has been capped with a concrete block.

The receiver buried reserve to the west leaves identical remains but is flooded to within a couple of inches of the surface.

A number of concrete foundations from other buildings can be seen scattered around the site.


  • Bob Jenner
  • A Sussex Sunset by Peter Longstaff-Tyrrell ISBN 0 9521297 0 1 published by Gote House Publishing
  • 20th Century Defences in Britain ISBN 1 872414 57 5 published by Council For British Archaeology

For further pictures of RAF Pevensey click here

[Source: Nick Catford]

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Last updated: Tuesday, 04-Jan-2011 14:55:09 GMT
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