Nether Button


A small settlement on the south coast of the Orkney Mainland overlooking the Bay of Deepdale and Scapa Flow, Nether Button (or Netherbutton) lies to the west of the A961 road, 3¾ miles (6 km) south of Kirkwall. In 1939, a chain-home radar station was built here to protect the Scapa Flow Naval Base from enemy bombing. Known as RAF Netherbutton, the station initially underperformed and within months the wooden masts were greatly increased in height. Four new steel towers were erected in 1940 to further increase performance. Initially the station fed information to Wick to scramble RAF fighters, but later the intelligence was used to control local anti-aircraft gunnery. After the Second World War, the station was re-equipped for Cold War defence but closed in 1955. In 1958, the site became the principal BBC radio and television transmitting station for Orkney, reusing two of the radar masts. This station closed in 1986 and the various control buildings were subsequently converted into a private houses.

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