Abandoned Hampshire: Paulsgrove Radio Station- Portsmouth


Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War 2. The operation was launched on 6th June 1944 and was headquartered at the Underground Headquarters (UGHQ) under Fort Southwick. About half a mile away, in Paulsgrove Chalk Pit near Portsmouth, this small underground radio bunker was constructed in May 1942 in preparation for D-Day operations. Paulsgrove Radio Station worked in conjunction with UGHQ as the transmission centre for secret radio communications and commands, a crucial tool in the invasion of Europe. It was constructed away from UGHQ and into a hill so that communications could continue in the event that UGHQ was bombed. Secure transmission lines would have linked the two sites. The point at which they entered the radio station can still be seen today.

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View of Paulsgrove Chalk Pit, the cliff into which Paulsgrove Radio Station is dug
The steep chalk cliff that Paulsgrove Radio Station is dug into.

Urban Exploration of the Abandoned Radio Station

This was a simple explore. The main challenge was finding exactly where in the cliff face the radio station was located. It was relatively easy to access once it had been located- a short but cautious scramble up the crumbling chalk cliff face. The radio station is no longer at ground level due to further quarrying after the war. Inside it was in good condition considering its age and ease of access, the the only real damage being the graffiti. Entering by crouching through the small opening in the chalk pictured below (left), there is then an unlined tunnel.

As you pass through this tunnel, which has plenty of headroom when it opens out, the first of three chambers is found on the left, as seen above (right). Following the tunnel round leads to a larger chamber, with a small set of stairs linking to the third, final and largest chamber, seen below. There is then another low access tunnel which leads back out to the cliff face.

Internal View of Paulsgrove Radio Station
Third & Largest Chamber of Paulsgrove Radio Station

Last Updated on 29 October 2021 by Michael

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