RAF Barnham cold war atomic weapons site

Having read about the key part that RAF Barnham played in Britain’s cold war nuclear deterrent I had to get down there and see it for myself and have to say as old military sites go this cold war beauty was absolutely fascinating… it really is a place where time has stood still and it has a real cold war era feeling about it as you wander around.

The day before setting off I had a refresher looking through the old photos of the site from the sixties online and decided just for nostalgia to photograph my wanderings in a similar style, 35mm lens, f1.4, black and white 🙂


Barnham Nuclear Storage Site was active during the early part of the Cold War and was one of only two such facilities built in the UK to store the BLUE DANUBE free fall nuclear bomb. The nuclear storage site was built during the mid 1950s to maintain the BLUE DANUBE away from the V-Bomber bases as well as holding the ‘second strike’ stock should nuclear war break out.

On official records, Barnham Nuclear Weapon Storage Site was known as a “Special Storage Site” and served the ‘southern’ V-Force bomber airfields, occupied by No 94 Maintenance Unit (MU), with Faldingworth’s 92 MU covering the ‘northern’ bases. Barnham went on to store the RED BEARD nuclear weapon which succeeded BLUE DANUBE.

Ultimately, the depot had a relatively short life span, ceasing to be capable of holding nuclear weapons in the Summer 1963.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Martin G says:

    Love the retro black and white… really suits the place!


  2. PGrindley says:

    Absolutely loved these… real cold war era stuff! PG


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