Hope Cove ROTOR
March 20, 2014 5:12 PM
Photo: © Anthony Vosper
RAF Bolt Head, or Hope Cove was a World War II airfield and later the site of an R6 ROTOR bunker near Salcombe in Devon. The semi-sunk bunker made up part of the RAF's radar monitoring network.
Salcombe, Devon, United Kingdom
Grid Reference: SX7119737555
Last Updated: February 05, 2020 6:26 PM
Hope Cove History
The site was as an airfield and support site for RAF Exeter from 1941 to 1945. In 1952 an R6 Regional Government HQ control bunker was constructed on the site as part of the British Government's ROTOR project.
The bunker, codenamed Gull Perch, was part of the Air Ministry's project which provided complete radar cover for the UK, it was one of the UK's largest defence project costing roughly £240 million. The high cost was due to the fact that at each ROTOR site meant that huge underground bunkers needed to be constructed as well as many reinforced surface buildings and the bunker at Hope Cove was no exception.
The semi-underground bunker is spread over roughly 3000 square meters over two floors, each floor has approximately 28 rooms, some of which have been extended with a mezzanine floor.
Hope Cove was one of five stations equipped with a type R6 bunker, along with Langtoft, St. Twynells, Treleaver and Hack Green.
In the late 1950s the site was turned in to a Regional Seat of Government by the Home Office and later became a Sub-Regional Control, Sub-Regional Headquarters and finally a Regional Government Headquarters before it was decommissioned in 1994.
For a time it was believed that the bunker was given an overhaul in the 1970s bringing it up to the standards of Hack Green, but apart from a few updates to wiring and communications, the bunker has remained pretty much unchanged since its time as a ROTOR station.
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