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The Rotor site on the Isle of Portland, located at SY696735, was a R1 Single level Rotor Bunker. Unusual in so much that it is deep, at about 100 feet, and was accessed by a lift rather than the usual stairs. The site is now in private ownership.

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These pictures show the small guardroom at the main entrance, The main Rotor Bungalow, built of Concrete, encased in local Portland stone and the rear of the bungalow, the window breeze blocked up, is the top of the lift shaft. The building in the foreground is one of the Radar mounting plinths.

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These pictures show the emergency exit building with its air vent, this building also contains one of the sites main electrical transformers, the current radio mast which is still in use, with its new control building and another of the Radar mounting plinths, now used to store straw.

New Portland Photos

The Rotor Site at Portland was put up for disposal in October 2001. I wasn't able to visit the site on the viewing days. On our earlier visits to the site, we found it to be in good original condition, albeit a little fire damaged. I was horrified to find out the MOD have committed vandalism on a massive scale all to supposedly make the structure safe.

I have included previously unpublished photos from our earlier visits and some taken by Bob Clarey on the viewing days in October 2001. 

Well done MOD, you have taken all of the historical value and chucked it in a skip, and it only cost you 30,000 !!

Portland 2001

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Here you can see where  the former lift shaft and access stairs stairs were, now a very dangerous and expensive ladder. The main bunker corridor once had fantastic mahogany wooden floors and period features, it now boasts tons of hardcore and a concrete infill. The doors to the rooms also now have railings to stop you falling down the hole into the rooms where once again there were mahogany floors.

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The main operations room sadly now without a floor. The pit for the Kelvin Hughes projector, never fitted at Portland, and previously covered with a floor and an inspection hatch.

Portland 1999

The following photo's show the bunker when I visited a couple of years ago, a little damaged but still in fairly good condition.

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Top of Lift shaft, rear access doors to the right

The lower level, showing complete and original lift.

looking down main corridor towards the bunker

Another view looking down main corridor towards the bunker

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Entrance corridor to the bunker, just past the dog leg corridor and main blast doors

Two views of the main plotting rooms, the upper room with its balcony

One of the motors for the sites Air Conditioning system

Electrical Plant room, in original 1950's condition

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Second Electrical Plant room, in original 1950's condition

Main Air Conditioning Plant room with all original fittings

Another view of the Main Air Conditioning Plant room with all original fittings 


Portland's earlier defences


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These pictures show some of the the earlier defences on Portland, the left hand picture shows the Verne Quarry High Angle Battery, with the Rotor site in the background, its construction started in 1890 and it was completed in 1892. It mounted six 9" RML guns on high angle mounts it had two magazines, one at each end of the battery, with ammunition being moved by a small railway. The guns were removed and the battery abandoned in 1907. The right hand picture shows the East Weare Batteries, photographed from the rear of the Rotor site, which were used continuously from 1869 right through until 1956, the site was then used up to a couple of years ago for Naval training, you can also see the Harbour breakwater, with its fort at the end of the centre section.