Ancient Monuments

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Aberporth Range Simulated Ship Firing Platform

A Scheduled Monument in Aberporth (Aber-porth), Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.1425 / 52°8'33"N

Longitude: -4.5576 / 4°33'27"W

OS Eastings: 225081

OS Northings: 252443

OS Grid: SN250524

Mapcode National: GBR D4.705B

Mapcode Global: VH2MJ.YDFW

Entry Name: Aberporth Range Simulated Ship Firing Platform

Scheduled Date: 28 January 2008

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1196

Cadw Legacy ID: CD213

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Dockyard

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Ceredigion

Community: Aberporth (Aber-porth)

Built-Up Area: Parcllyn

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of a simulated ship firing platform facility at the former Royal Aircraft Establishment's Guided Weapons Trials Unit, (now MoD) Aberporth. It was built and commissioned in 1951-4 to develop, proof and evaluate the launching of the Sea Slug surface-to-air missile from Royal Naval ships. It is located at the foot of the cliffs at Pencribach, on a purpose-built terrace. The installation consists of a dock and the foundations of associated buildings, together with a subterranean complex of rooms and tunnels. The Sea Slug trials ceased in 1968. The installation was used subsequently for Sea Dart and Sea Wolf missile trials before being partially cleared in 2004.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of British Cold War weapon systems, where there is a very limited survival of evidence overall. The survival of evidence associated with Sea Slug at Aberporth is also unique in terms of the development of Royal Naval weapon systems, where particularly little evidence is known to survive. The successful development of the Sea Slug missile represents one of the chief British technological achievements during the Cold War period and marked a point of significant escalation in the arms race. It signifies the important transition between the Royal Navy's use of gun ships and the use of missile warships in the modern era. The remains of the individual structures are well preserved and retain significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around within which related evidence may be expected to survive. The scheduled area is an irregular polygon in shape and measures 94m N-S by 42m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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