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Riding the Mast

The Caradon Mast is 750ft tall, plus the secondary reserve aerial that was installed in 2007, bringing it to a total height of 780ft (238m). The mast was originally built and came in to service in 1961, and Caradon Hill was chosen as the best location to serve Cornwall and the west of Devon for TV transmissions. The problem with such tall structures is, naturally, the need to go up them from time to time, to service and maintain not only the structure itself, but equipment that it holds for signal transmissions. This of course ignores how the mast got there in the first place, which is a whole other story. As to how engineers get up the mast now, see below (or above below!)...

Caradon Mast
The Caradon Mast in all its780ft tall glory

Caradon Smaller Masts
The Caradon Hill site also has two other smaller masts that have and are used for other
telecommunications purposes. The smaller third mast has since been removed.

Caradon Mast before digital switchover
The top of Caradon Mast BEFORE the digital switchover (as seen in 2006)

Caradon Mast after the digital switchover
The top of the Caradon Mast AFTER the digital switchover (as seen in 2009)
Work was completed on the digital switchover during 2008 to 2009

Cage and Masts
If you want a ride, this is the way to go.
Far scarier one feels, than any fairground ride is likely to be!

Caradon Mast cage - base camp
The, er, cable car at base camp does seem somewhat ramshackle,
but 'Elf and Safety has I'm sure given the OK!

Caradon Cage
So this is it. This is where you get on, and this is what you get in.

Caradon Cage
Just a Cage!

Caradon Mast cage - out in the void
That will take you up there, and out into the big empty void!

Working up Caradon Mast
...and finally, to the top of the mast,
where all you have to do, is climb out!

Working up Caradon Mast
I can only assume that a very good, EXCEPTIONALLY good,
HEAD FOR HEIGHTS is required!!!

Bottom of Caradon MastLooking up Caradon Mast
Some images of the mast itself - from bottom to top.
(the platform at the top of the bottom half image is the same platform as near the bottom of the top half image)

Top of Caradon MastAerials on Caradon mast
Some of the Caradon Mast aerial arrays

Caradon Mast Cables
One of the primary cable anchoring points and cables up the mast

Caradon Mast Cables
One of the several three-way cable anchoring points

Caradon Mast cables
Some of the heavier looking cables that almost look frayed! (But I'm sure they're not!)

For more technical information about the Caradon Mast, see the Caradon Hill page on The Big Tower
where there are also more photographs of work being carried out.
How the old pre-digital aerial array was brought back down to earth can be seen in The Transmission Gallery

For more information about the Caradon Hill, see the Caradon Hill page


All photographs are copyright of Clive ffitch; please contact PhotoFile Cornwall if you wish to use them.
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