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Thursday 22 July 2010

Kessingland - Pakefield

An interesting walk along the coast from Kessingland to Pakefield last Monday. Took in three pillboxes, Pakefield CHL Radar site and the site of Pakefield Emergency Coastal Battery. This post will concentrate on Pakefield CHL Radar station. The British had realised the need for methods of detecting aircraft in the event of war and in the mid thirties, research was undertaken and developed on the use of  'Radio Direction Finding', or RDF. A prototype RDF system was built at Bawdsey (called Chain Home or CH) in 1937, and further development led to a 'beamed radar' (called Chain Home Low or CHL). This was more reliable than CH in bad weather and had a range of upto 160 km. Pakefield was one of the CHL sites operational during the war.
Toady the remaining buildings are perilously close to the cliff edge. The site was also used as a Cold War Royal Observer Corps post.
Image 1: Main building, Pakefield CHL, perilously close to the cliff edge
Image 2: View of site
Image 3 and 4: Interior of main building
Image 5 and 6: Interior of one of two identical buildings either side of main building
Image 7 and 8: Cold War ROC underground post entrance
Image 9: Underground ROC bunker
Next post will detail the pillboxes.


  1. I was at Kessingland in 1948 at a school camp. We were in what used to be an RAF camp with wooden huts. When you left the camp you turned left at the endof the lane and in to the road that led down to the beach. i do not recall the sea wall, just shingle beach with some verymold buildings with heavily tarred rooves. We were from Liverpool so it was heaven to us. Anyone out there got any old pictures from then

    1. I went there with OLI school twice prob. about that tome + a year or so. We stayed in the huts too. The second year we went there had been a big storm and a lot of the cliffs had been washed away. BFN

  2. We live in Pakefield ... The erosion to the cliffs in recent weeks has been vicious ....the pillar boxes fell a while ago ... my boys have spent many hours collecting bullets and searching through the ruins when the tide is low enough. It looks very different now, and although I am saddened .. it has brought much curiosity from my children about the wars....

  3. I was born in 1938 at or near Pakefield. I was told the sea wall was blown up to deter German landings and the place where I was born was destroyed by the sea.
    As a kid after the beaches were cleared I played in a little wood with a stream and waterfall that went to the beach.