It has a 305.4 metres (1,002 ft) high guyed steel lattice mast. Constructed in 1959, it came into service on 27 October of that year. It was at the time the highest television mast to be constructed in Europe and the first of six of the same height subsequently used at other Independent Television Authority stations.
When UHF television came to East Anglia, main transmitters were commissioned at Tacolneston, near Norwich and Sudbury, near Colchester. Mendlesham was not required in the UHF plan, so when 405 line television was discontinued in the UK in 1985, the mast ceased to be used for any broadcast transmissions for over a decade.
However in 1997, the site was chosen to be a main transmitter for new regional commercial radio station Vibe FM (renamed Kiss 105-108 in 2006), on 106.4 MHz VHFFM at a power of 20 kW. Vibe FM launched November 1997. Later in December 2001, national digital radio multiplexDigital One also added its antennas to the mast. The BBC National DAB Multiplex was added on 13 July 2010.