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RAF Holmpton, Withernsea

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web
RAF Holmpton is a former Cold War era nuclear bunker that was built in the 1950s as an early warning radar station as part of the ROTOR Radar Defence Programme. Located just south of the village of Holmpton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, RAF Holmpton remained a part of the Defence Estate right up to 8 December 2014 when it was sold into private ownership after 62 years of military service.The site runs to about 36acre and comprises a number of surface structures along with a secure 35000ft2 command bunker which is about 100ft below ground.RotorThe Bunker Design type R3-M2 was first built in 1951-3 and started life as an early warning radar station, part of the ROTOR program. An R3-M2 is a larger version of the standard UK R3 Bunker and RAF Holmpton was the only example of this type of structure in the UK as 1: It combined several Radar functions in the one building and 2: was a prototype for three similar bunkers built in Europe during the Cold War. The Bunker is set in an excavation of about 120ft, it is encased in 10ft of solid concrete all round with tungsten rods providing additional stability to the outer shell. The shell is then encased in brickwork and lined with pitch to form a waterproof membrane. Between the top of the bunker and the surface there is a concrete burster slab inserted to provide a deflection of any incoming ordnance.In the late 1960s it became a Master Comprehensive Radar Station trialling the Ericsson 'Fire Brigade Auto Intercept Radar System' and later going on to house a massive Elliott & Plessey computer system for the 'Linesman Radar Project' All Radar functions at the site eventually closed in 1974 and for the next few years the site was used for training.
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  • A unique experience for anyone who wants to see an underground bunker that stretches out for what feel like a mile underground. With loads of intetesting and historical exhibits, right down to the dai...  read more »
  • We have been planning to visit for years but not managed it ..............until now! It was WELL worth the wait. RAF Holmpton bunker is certainly worthy of a visit, it is a really interesting place an...  read more »
  • really enjoyed this visit, found the information there fascinating. all the people that i spoke to there were really interested and willing to share their stories and knowledge about the bunker. it wa...  read more »
  • What a great afternoon out with the family. The hard work which has gone into preserving this facility must be seen to truly be appreciated. The guides on hand are so keen and enthusiastic and will answer any questions you may have and be prepared for the odd surprise or two if you are lucky. This truly is the product of a lot of hard work to preserve history from the cold war and I will certainly be going back again in the future.
  • From start to finish an incredible experience. So much to see from different periods in the bunkers history, and two guides who are passionate about the place and so full of knowledge which was the icing on the cake. I will be visiting again someday.
  • Really interesting, yet eerie, place. The volunteers are very knowledgeable and helpful.
  • Fantastic attraction! We went to a special event down in the bunker overnight which was fascinating! Very eerie!
  • I went on a visit last year and was amazed by the scale of this place, it's huge and totally underground. The tour was guided and also interpreted with films and demonstrations which really explained the purpose of the place. I throughly enjoyed the experience and hope to return in 2013 as I understand that whole new areas are being opened up along with an entirely new tour. The staff were all very friendly and helpful and it was good value for money as well.
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