Danby Beacon, the site of a RAF Radar station during WW2. There are very little visible remains on the site just north west of Danby Hill. Three earth mounds that protected the transmission equipment and a few concrete roads and plinths.
The site operated from the outbreak of the war until 1954 and was one of twenty stations along the east coast of Britain. It comprised were eight aerial towers in total, four wood 240 feet high for receiving and, four steel 350 feet for transmitting as well as numerous buildings for billets, guardhouse, the commanding officer’s house and stores. Around the perimeter there were anti aircraft guns and pill boxes.
In February 1940 the station detected enemy aircraft which were intercepted. In the engagement a Heinkel bomber was shot down, the first over England. One of the pilots was Flt. Lieut. Peter Townsend who was involved in a controversial relationship with Princess Margaret in the 1950s.
It must have been quite a cushy posting. Boredom seems to have been the main problem especially if confined to the camp. Stories circulated of a headless horseman seen riding on the isolated moor.
After the war the site continued to protect our eastern skies. This time against a potential Cold War threat. Eventually this function was taken over by RAF Fylingdales.