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Cupar, Hawklaw, Intercept 'y' Listening Station

Communications Intercept Station (20th Century)

Site Name Cupar, Hawklaw, Intercept 'y' Listening Station

Classification Communications Intercept Station (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Hawk Law

Canmore ID 202210

Site Number NO31NE 66

NGR NO 3780 1574

NGR Description Centred NO 3780 1574

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/202210

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Cupar
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO31NE 66 Centred NO 3780 1574

For (later) listening station at Kingask, see NO31NE 85.00

Identified from vertical air photographs. The radio station is also visible on postwar oblqiue aerial views (540[A] 388, SFFO: 0406, 0407, flown 23 May 1948), which show over twenty masts at Hawklaw, the top of the rise to the NE of Cupar. Also visible are two single storey buildings and a small hut.

Information from RCAHMS (DE), July 2006

The flat roofed building is situated on the N side of the minor road leading to Foxton Farmsteading (NO31NE 73). The building is surrounded by a security fence. A recent visit noted that the building is not in use and up for sale.

It is visible on large scale vertical air photographs (106G/Scot/UK 67, Pt II, 5184-5187, 8 May 1946), which clearly show the array of masts in the fields to the N and NW.

The listening station is noted as being used for monitoring Naval coded traffic for Station X at Bletchley Park, England.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE), July 2006.

Site Management (21 September 2007)

Single storey building with flat, felt roof. Metal casement windows in Art Deco style.

Operationally active by 1942, Hawklaw was one of a number of Y listening stations run by The Foreign Office and wartime intelligence services, gathering the raw material for the code breakers at Bletchley Park. At the end of the war the station became a GCHQ controlled Y station, masquerading as a long distance radio station. It continued to intercept messages, primarily in the Eastern Block, until becoming obsolete with the widespread use of satellites and decommissioned in 1988. (6a Architects 1939-2007 Historical Report on Hawklaw, Cupar).

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