C W Miller
Dimensions: 52cm x 36cm
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Acquired by the Ministry of Defence in 1936, Bawdsey Manor became the home of developments in radar in the late 1930s. This new technology proved to be an integral part of the defence of Great Britain in the Battle of Britain in 1940.
This watercolour painting is housed in a gold frame with a black mount. It depicts Bawdsey Manor itself – a large, red brick, square building with green rounded turrets at each corner. A series of grey stone steps lead up to the front of the Manor House where it sits on the top of a small hill. The Manor House is shown in the centre of the painting, situated within lush grounds, with leafy green trees contrasting against the rust coloured building. Behind the Manor House, a blue sky swept with white clouds forms the backdrop, adding to the sense of a cool, bright summer day.
Work on Radar by Robert Watson-Watt and his team was started at Bawdsey Manor in 1936. The first Chain Home Radar Station was constructed there soon after. By the outbreak of the Second World War, it was one of a number of stations forming a chain around the coast, able to detect incoming enemy raids. This information was fed to the Filter Room at RAF Bentley Priory.
Bawdsey Manor was bombed a number of times during the war and was heavily defended. After the war it continued as a training school until 1994 when it was bought for use as a family home.