RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station

This may not be the largest location I’ve featured, but I still found it interesting. It’s the old Direction Finding Station for the nearby RAF Warboys base (now mainly industrial units).

And that is about all I know about this location (heck, I’m not even sure that that’s correct). If anyone has any further information about, please get in touch. Thanks!

External photos

The building is strange. It is located in the corner of a huge grassy compound surrounded by huge conifers. I’m not good with conversions, but the compound is about 200x200metres. You can view it on an aerial photo (the four circles are trees).

  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station

Inside

Entering through the huge blast doors is surprising – you expect to be in the building, but this is not so. There is a huge enclosed passageway surrounding the main building – presumably further protection against any bomb blasts.

  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station

Further inside

Once inside, there is very little to see. Any clues as to what this building was for have long gone. One room was obviously a plant room for boilers/air-con etc. One a store room of some sort. And one huge room. There were also some obligatory smashed up toilets (unphotoed).

  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
  • Thumbnail of RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station
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15 Responses to RAF Warboys Direction Finding Station

  1. Alex says:

    Hi i went to visit this site and found it very interesting having done abit of research and working on an RAF site i think RAF Warboys was a bommer command site hence the Raf stations name (warboys) the bulding listed above is certainly to be a comms building as there are many deep channels in the building for power cables and comms cables which leave the building

  2. Simon says:

    Alex; not too sure about RAF Warboys being named because of it being a bomber command station. I would think it is due to it’s location near Warboys village. The village has the enviable history of being the location that the last recorded witches were hung after a trial in Huntingdon; that was in 1593 and the church of Warboys is 13th Century, therefore the name Warboys very much pre-dates the RAF.

  3. dave ross says:

    We moved to warboys in 1978, at the time the control tower was still standing (now the industrial estate) . I seem to recall there was a presavation order on it but it got knocked down on the sly. The runways are still there…. just and the big target practice wall is still standing.It was used as a satellite base for raf wyton and they flew wellington bombers from there in ww2. if i am correct there is still an old corragated steel aircraft hanger on the ind estate and definetly some old concrete brick airfield buildings on the perimeter. as far as i know still pretty much un-vandalised

  4. ken dodd says:

    Hi i was a ground wireless mechanic stationed at raf wyton in 1963/64 and worked in the above building at warboys. It was used at that time to hold the transmitters for raf wyton and also held hi power rf transmitters for raf mildenhall. as far as I can rememember it closed down around 1966 rgds ken

  5. Geoff Underwood says:

    I ‘worked’ at Warboys Transmitters in 1959/60. We didn’t do too much work as there was a civilian wireless fitter and Ernie, the civilian cleaner.
    Our sergeant ran a tv repair business, another airman was converting a bus into a camper and yet another learning to play the saxophone.
    Happy days!

    • trevor bate says:

      Was stationed at HQ 1 Group RAF Bawtry in 1960 – We used Warboys transmitters as our W/T transmitters for working to the “V” force bombers
      and could do so virtually around the world – the “Bomber net” used High Wycombe – RAF Mildenhall and Bawtry as receiver sites using RA17 receivers
      mainly and the transmitter sites for morse telegraphy were Chenies – a couple at Wycombe – Warboys – and another which I have now forgotten – it all worked very well indeed I recal chatting to Vulcan bombers on the ground at Darwin – Goose bay and lots of other distant places. will likely recall the other TX site later
      rgds

    • John Poole says:

      I was JT at warboys.FROM jAN 59 – Mar 60 Please contact me so we can catch up
      Those were the Days

    • JOHN POOLE Ex JT says:

      JOHN POOLE
      Hi Geoff I think i was at Warboys Jan 59-mar60
      Would like to hear from you
      Regards
      John .

  6. Mike Crosland says:

    I was stationed at the transmitter site as a junior technician for approximately 3-months in 1966 before being posted to Malta. We lived at the caravan site in Oldhurst. I remember that a Sergeant was in charge but a civilian serviced ‘his’ transmitters and would’nt let us RAF types touch them. We used to get some very large mushrooms from around the aerials.

  7. ken mellor says:

    My father flew in “lanks” as a flight engineer and often
    talked of Warboys.
    It is the village name that gives it (The Station) it’s name.
    P.S. Re. the hanging of witches. (Second entry).
    Surley it is “unenviable”, no “enviable” !
    Sorry to be pedantic.

  8. ken mellor says:

    could it have been a radar station, judging by the picture.
    poss. a type 80 ?

  9. Gus says:

    LIKELY DEMOLITION
    update as of November the 5th 2010, (when I visited the site in the evening as fireworks were going off over the old airfield), It’s unlikely that this site will be around for much longer, on the front gate (2 metres from the big gap in the fence)
    There is an application for demolition dated sept 2010 to make way for 2 industrial units for “Rustons” engineering.
    Basically if you wish to see the last vestiges of this site, go now before it’s obliterated, acess via edge of field (park right by the land below the modern mobile mast, as many do) but please remember this site borders agriculteral land so respect the area.
    Alternately squeeze through the missing bars (easy unless you are around 23 stone) at the front & mind the open manhole covers… take light sources if visiting towards dusk or later.
    As a local I love this hidden but blatently visible site, we regularly receive the memorial flight which tips wings as it flies several circuits of the village, church & airfield, if you do visit, please stop by the local church (a few hundred metres away, it has a fine stained glass memorial window marking the history & sacrifice of the Airfield & it’s occupants.
    If anyone wishes to send a letter of complaint it should be sent with due haste to huntingdonshire district council, time is short!

  10. BOB MOORE says:

    Reading your website brought back some memories I have of RAFs Warboys and Upwood.I was posted to Warboys in Nov 1961, I was on 257 squadron,operating mk 2 Bloodhound missiles. at first I was in ASF with a corporal Godfrey, he was a Londoner like me and we got on well,the hangar as far as I can remember was like something out of star wars,a dust free environment and we wore white coats and looked liked scientists, after a while I applied to go on to the 257 squadron, I can remember doing the pre-flight check,[count the missiles] to see nobody had nicked any.there were never any after flight checks. the squadron had a great morale and I enjoyed my short time there,because in April 1963 I was posted to Laarbruch,Whilst working at Warboys we were actually billeted at RAF Upwood, I thought I,d died and gone to heaven, great food, central heating,after Bridgenorth and Weeton it was luxury,I remember one time at Upwood I had just left the mess and was walking back to the block when I heard the SWOMAN shout at me OI! walk properly ,who do you think you are the Duke of fucking Edinburgh, all because I was walking with my hands behind my back holding my mug and irons, ‘great memories’

  11. Alastair Bradley says:

    RAF Warboys was a bomber command airfield during WWII and was one of the first airfield to house the Pathfinder force, who were the elite targeting squadron for bomber command. RAF Warboys became one of the main airfields for the conversion of crews from standard aircrew to the pathfinders. The pathfinders would use various radar and other aiming recognition techniques to pinpoint the target and then mark these targets for the main force to bomb with either flares and incendries or parachute flares if cloud was heavy over the target. Therefore RAF Warboys played a very important role within bomber command during the second world war which makes is destuction even more regretable.

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