Buckland St Mary Instation

Location
Buckland St Mary (Castle Neroche), Somerset
Type
Instation
Call sign
Chirnside 0
Special Duties Personnel
Role Name Posted from until
Operator Second Subaltern Kathleen Marie Hills (Mrs) 1942 1942
Station description

Noted as a "Relay IS" (Relay In Station)
The underground Zero Station and the nearby Meteorological (Met) hut were constructed within the confines of Castle Neroche, Buckland St Mary, Somerset.

The location is managed by the Neroche Scheme, led by the Forestry Commission and is open to the public.
The Zero Station dugout was within the ramparts of the Norman motte and bailey castle and built by the Royal Engineers. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and cannot be dug.

Arthur Gabbitas recalled the general Zero Station lay out as having an entrance where stores were kept, a main chamber where they operated and had bunks and a sealed chamber that housed the generator. This chamber and a tunnel leading from it acted as an exhaust for the generator fumes and an escape tunnel for the men if necessary.

The concrete base that supported the above ground “Met” hut is still in situ. These were sometimes a wooden hut sited on a concrete base disguised to resemble a Meteorological Hut with maps etc on the walls though there was not a standard design in all areas.

The men were billeted at Castle Neroche Farm with the farmers Mr and Mrs Gent. Mr Gent, with his broad Somerset accent, introduced the men to the delights of Somerset cider. The telephone number was Buckland St Mary 228.

The billet, underground dugout and above ground hut are all within two minutes walk of each other.

The men had a small car, a Morris 10hp, which they used to check aerials and change the batteries in “Chirnside's” Outstations, aiming to visit two a day

Map Location

Buckland St Mary Instation

References

Arthur Gabbitas and IWM recording 29463
Alf Ellis
Somerset HER Reference PNR 28026 and PNR 44544.
David Hunt.