Radar birthplace is at risk

ONE of Suffolk's most historic buildings - recognised as the birthplace of radar - has been added to English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register.Bawdsey Manor, near Woodbridge, needs urgent and costly repairs to its roof, the conservation body said.

ONE of Suffolk's most historic buildings - recognised as the birthplace of radar - has been added to English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register.

Bawdsey Manor, near Woodbridge, needs urgent and costly repairs to its roof, the conservation body said.

It was one of two buildings in Suffolk added to the register, along with Greyfriars in Dunwich, the remains of a 13th Century friary.

But there was good news for a number of other important buildings as they were removed from the list, including the West Front of Bury St Edmunds Abbey.


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Bawdsey Manor, a large mansion set in 150 acres on the Suffolk coast, is steeped in history and prestige and is best known as the birthplace of radar.

Physicist Robert Watson-Watt oversaw the development of the system at the manor in the 1930s and the site was used as a top-secret radar station during the Second World War.

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The sprawling mansion, built by Sir William Cuthbert Quilter in the late 1890s, was previously a family home and is now used for conferences and functions, including civil wedding ceremonies, and academic courses.

Greyfriars, the ruins of a 13th Century friary, is all that is left of the medieval town of Dunwich that was once one of the most important ports in the country before it was lost to the sea.

Collapsing masonry is now threatening the ruins, English Heritage said.

John Ette, historic buildings inspector for English Heritage in the East of England, said: “We are delighted to remove St Edmunds Abbey from the register; it has been a thoroughly rewarding project that has proven very successful.”

English Heritage estimates it would cost £400 million in subsidies to take every building off the risk list but it is hoped the example of the West Front will help inspire developers and owners in Suffolk and Essex to take the necessary steps.

Friston Mill in Friston, near Saxmundham, has also been taken off the register after being fully restored as a working mill as has the church tower at Colchester Zoo.

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