Porthcurno Comms Bunker

Porthcurno WWII Communication Bunker & Anti-Invasion Defences

A Photographic ‘Look-back’

OS Sheet 203

Porthcurno, near ‘Lands End’

Porthcurno is a very isolated cove near Lands End. Unknown to most people, it is the point where submarine telephone cables connecting Britain to the rest of the world come ashore.

 WWII Communication Bunker

Main Entrance to the Porthcurno Bunker

Main Entrance to the Porthcurno Bunker

Seeing the importance of this communication link the War Office sent 300 Scottish soldiers to Porthcurno to seal off the beach with barbed wire, a floodlit fence, tank traps and ‘Flame Fougasse’ fixed flame thrower to annihilate any German Commando raiding forces.

Further up the valley during 1940, 200 local miners set about blasting two underground tunnels. 15,000 tons of granite were removed and eventually a space 150ft long, 26ft wide and 23ft high housed a team of Cable Operators. Protected from direct bombardment by the nature of being underground they were further protected by huge steel doors and rubber gaskets to stop the entry of poison gas. In case the doors became jammed, an emergency stairway with 119 steps allowed the operators to escape to the hillside above.

Outside Military Police and Soldiers guarded the entrance and surrounding valley area whilst a Bofors anti-aircraft battery kept watch over the skies above.

The Bunker is now the Museum of Submarine Telegraphy and is open to the public.

 

 No 2 Entrance being guarded by a soldier in 1941. Copyright Cable & Wireless.

No 2 Entrance being guarded by a soldier in 1941. Copyright Cable & Wireless.

With a real threat of a seaborne assault from German Commando’s, the valley down towards the beach was laced with anti-invasion defences. The following photographs give us a real insight into just how important the defence of the bunker complex actually was.

 Cable House

The Cable House was the first ‘concrete’ structure that needed defending. Located immediately above the beach this is the point at which the ‘North African’ submarine telegraphy cables exits the ‘marine environment’ and makes the appropriate connections up the hill to the ‘wartime communications bunker’.

Cable House With ‘Flame Fougasse’ Control Bunker & ‘One-Off’ Design Pillbox On Cliff Edge Behind (note: the brown hut is the Lifeguards!)

 Porthcurno ‘One-Off’ Design Pillbox

porthcurnog

By Graham G Matthews

Join The Group

We welcome new members to the PSG. We currently have over 300 members in six countries. Members receive the journal 'Loopholes' three times a year which details recent finds and sites of particular interest.
PSG Membership
For more details about PSG, membership, Pillboxes or Defence Structure related topics contact our Co-ordinator Roger Thomas.

Disclaimer

Defence Structures and sites of all types both above and below ground can be very dangerous. Serious injury or even death can arise from unauthorised entry into such sites and structures. Join a responsible club, group or society who can arrange official visits. The Pillbox Study Group accepts no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused by ignoring this advice.

Top 100 Military Sites


Hit Counter provided by Business Card Holders