Borough Hill

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Borough Hill
Borough Hill mast.jpg
The last remaining radio mast on the hill
Highest point
Elevation 199 m (653 ft) [citation needed]
Location Northamptonshire, England
Mountain type Prominent hill
Easiest route Lane up to the BBC Transmitting station

Borough Hill is a hill to the east of the town of Daventry in the English county of Northamptonshire. It is over 200 metres (660 ft) above sea level and dominates the surrounding area.


Remains have been found on the hill of two Iron Age hillforts, and two Bronze Age barrows and of a later Roman villa and farming settlement.[1]

Transmitting station[edit]

In 1925 the BBC constructed a transmitting station which initially was used for long wave, and short wave broadcasting. The long wave service was moved to a new and better transmitter station located at Wychbold village near Droitwich in 1934. In the early years of the second world war, tests were carried out using one of the short wave transmitters to carry out research work into radar.

In 1950 the BBC constructed a 720 ft (220 m) mast at nearby Dodford for the BBC Third Programme, with a 150 kW transmitter located in a building near to the short wave transmitter building. This service closed in 1978 and the mast was removed in 1984.

Due to the nature of short wave broadcasting, large areas of Borough Hill were occupied with towers, and masts to support large antennas. Transmissions from the short wave station could be received across the world.

Many engineers were employed by the BBC to work at the station and a number decided to settle in Daventry, and to this day many former BBC staff remain in Daventry.

The BBC decided to close the station and on 28 March 1992 the last transmission took place, and the transmission equipment was moved to other BBC World Service transmitters around the country. The station became an electronic service centre for the repair of BBC transmission equipment, and a local transmitter maintenance team was also based here until the late 1990s. The station has found many uses including the training of engineers, storage of equipment, spare antennas and masts. The station is now owned by Arqiva.

The former antenna field is now open grassland allowing free public access.

The early RADAR experiments were conducted by Arnold Wilkins and Robert Watson-Watt on 26 February 1935, see The Birth of Radar by Rex Boys, The Cottage, GL20 7ER This booklet contains other references, notably Arnold Wilkins' memoirs held at Churchill College Cambridge

Royal Observer Corps Post[edit]

Borough Hill was the location of ROC Post Daventry, part of the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation. The post was closed in September 1991.[2]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°15′17″N 1°08′24″W / 52.25484°N 1.14003°W / 52.25484; -1.14003