Unit History: RAF Box
RAF Rudloe Manor, formerly RAF Box, was a Royal Air Force station located south-east of Bath, United Kingdom between the towns of Box and Corsham. It was one of several military installations situated in the area and covered three main sites.
The station held various roles during its lifetime and the site has now been absorbed into the Basil Hill Barracks complex used by Defence Equipment & Support, Information Systems & Services.
The station was built on top of quarries from which Bath Stone had been extracted, in the 1930s some of the tunnels were converted for use as the Central Ammunition Depot for the United Kingdom. The vast caverns had some 2,250,000 square feet (209,000 m2) of space, divided into many smaller chambers.
An area was used for RAF Fighter Group 10 Headquarters, named RAF Box. A communications switching centre was also established.
Also within the tunnels the Ministry of Aircraft Production built an aircraft engine factory, to act as a fallback should the factories in Bristol be damaged through bombing. Despite being built the factory was not actually used.
Following the end of the Second World War the site continued as both a communications hub and home of various administrative units. No1 Signals Unit was established to manage all UK terrestrial communications infrastructure for the RAF. With the launch of the UK Satellite Communications System, Skynet in the late 1960s the site of Controller Defence Communications Network (CDCN) was established. A spacecraft operations centre was established by 1001Signals Unit, the spacecraft operations organisation, on a small enclave within the site, known as Hawthorn.
The headquarters of the RAF Provost and Security Service was established in the Northerly of the three sites although on the closure of the station moved to RAF Henlow.
RAF Rudloe Manor was the location of Headquarters Southern Area Royal Observer Corps from 1952 until 1980 when it was relocated to Lansdowne near Bath. Co-located with the ROC was Headquarters Southern Sector United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation responsible for the now defunct Four-minute warning in the event of nuclear attack during the Cold War.