In The Media
Nuclear Weapons facility
Starting off as a World War 2 mustard gas weapons storage depot, RAF Barnham was used as a dedicated storage and maintenance facility for nuclear weapons in the 1950's. It supplied weapons to squadrons at Honnington, Marham, Watton, Wyton, Upwood and Bassingbourn. It is designed in a pentagon-shape with a mesh fence and barbed wire and an inner concrete wall with guard towers to keep watch over the site. The main buildings are three storage buildings for non-nuclear components such as the casings, and 57 small buildings called "Hutches" which were built in 5 groups between the large storage buildings all linked by walkways. There was also a maintenance building for keeping the bombs ready for use, a RAF Police building and administration block, both of which were destroyed by a fire. Outside of the main gate were the outer picket post, a mess building, two standby set houses, a fuel store and various other facilities for the site. It was closed in the 1960's and sold off by the MOD and now privately owned by an elderly gentleman who maintains the site and allows organised group visits.
I visited the site by invitation on an arranged photography group excursion. There was a lot to take in and discover and clearly the site is well looked after. The casing of the Blue Danube is at the site entrance and is fairly impressive. Some of the hutches have been restored, one complete with the fissile cores in tact, some were boarded up but most had their original doors. The main storage buildings within the compound are under-going a refurb with scaffolding up around them. There are five towers dotted at each corner of the site, and I braved the heights, and went up a couple of them. It was fairly scary as it was very tight, even for me, but I went up three lots of ladders to take in the views, which were amazing! This place is well worth a visit, but make sure it's on an organised trip, I don't think the owner would be too pleased otherwise! The pictures below were taken in January 2020.
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