Fan Bay Sound Mirrors

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

Date

26 October 2016

Location

Fan Bay, Dover, Kent
TR 35221 42799; 51.13611°N, 1.36095°E

Information

Concrete sound mirrors were developed in Britain to provide early warning of approaching aircraft. The dish-shaped acoustic reflectors focused sound waves to a point in front of the mirror where a microphone would be placed, or an operator equipped with a stethoscope would be positioned. The technology became obsolete in the 1930s with the advent of radar.

The two 4.5 metre World War I sound mirrors at Fan Bay, the site of which had been filled in in the 1970s, were excavated by the National Trust as part of its restoration of Fan Bay Deep Shelter. An archaeological dig took place in 2014 to find the mirrors and 600 tonnes of spoil was removed to uncover the devices. The guided tour of Fan Bay Deep Shelter includes an opportunity to view the sound mirrors at close quarters.

Further Reading

Sound Mirrors;
Fan Bay Deep Shelter;
First World War ‘sound mirrors’ restored on White Cliffs of Dover (Centenary News)

No. 2 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 2 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 2 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 2 Sound Mirror, Fan Bay

No. 1 (L) and No. 2 (R) Sound Mirrors, Fan Bay

No. 1 (L) and No. 2 (R) Sound Mirrors, Fan Bay

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23 thoughts on “Fan Bay Sound Mirrors

  1. I vaguely recall seeing a documentary about sound mirrors, it was a technology that worked in theory, and almost worked in practice. An interesting idea, overtaken by a much better one.

  2. I’d agree that they are a fascinating concept, the concrete British ones are certainly interesting, but I’ve never seen those Japanese ones before. Those are ace!

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