About this image
The site was used as a store for weapons at this time. Part of the British government's obsession with the military, political, and economic pressures that caused the inter-war government to seek underground protection for it's weapons of war. They created underground citadels, storehouses, factories, bunkers and command centres all over the country in place such as this (another similar construction was at Llanberis). Using the hallow created by quarrying, caverns and tunnels were constructed with vaulted ceilings, then 40' backfill overlay was replaced. The tunnels at Harpur Hill were emptied of HE bombs late in 1949. A positive side development of military presence here was the development of mountain rescue teams. In 1942 an RAF Maintenance Unit, based at Harpur Hill, began to receive regular calls to assist with the recovery of aircraft crews which had crashed in the local hills. Out of necessity a small team started to evolve. It had no previous experience and no special equipment. However, the team developed and by 1944 its successes were being noticed by the RAF. The RAF was so impressed that it copied the idea in other areas and formally established the RAF Mountain Rescue Service. The team at Harpur Hill continued to operate until 1960, when the station closed. The area now is popular for recreational purposes, used by climbers and walkers.