thebigtower


ashkirk

 

 


THE ASHKIRK TRANSMITTER is the BBC National FM main station that serves the Scottish Borders and adjoining parts of Northumberland.

Sited near the UHF main station at Selkirk, it was originally built principally as a medium-power installation for the BBC 405-line television transmitter network.

TRANSMISSION STRUCTURE

Ashkirk transmits from a 229.1 metre (752-ft) square-cross-section lattice stayed mast.  Whilst not particularly distinctive in appearance, it is actually the only lattice structure on a VHF transmission site of BBC origin that combines a square-cross-section design with a height of at least 229 metres (750-ft).

(The adjacent Selkirk station coincidentally features the only mast of ITA origin with these same characteristics)

Furthermore, it is the only mast of this height at a station originally built to transmit BBC 405-line television at medium-power level, lattice structures of this scale having been otherwise limited to the sites of the four provincial high-power BBC 405-line transmitters at Holme Moss, Kirk o'Shotts, Sutton Coldfield and Wenvoe.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TELEVISION HISTORY

The Ashkirk station was opened by the BBC on 17 June 1963 to provide improved 405-line VHF Band I television coverage to the Scottish Borders, the area previously relying on distant reception from mainly the Kirk o'Shotts transmitter.

Transmitting on VHF Channel 1 with a maximum Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of 18 kilowatts, the station was one of the first BBC examples of purpose-built automatic unattended operation, in this instance re-broadcasting BBC Television as a relay of Kirk o'Shotts.

The opening of the station also marked one of the last significant examples of transmitting stations built in close proximity to each other, the ITA unusually being first in this instance to estalish their transmitter for the area at nearby Selkirk in December 1961.

Ashkirk transmitted BBC VHF Television until the final shutdown of the 405-line service in January 1985.  With Selkirk providing the UHF service to the region, Ashkirk ceased to be involved in television broadcast after this date and has since concentrated solely on BBC radio transmissions.


Site/Stay Block Images

 

 Above: The Ashkirk site which, as one of the later generation of BBC stations in the 405-line era, is somewhat compact and historically characterless.

 

 

 Above: The fencing around the stay blocks are a relatively recent security enhancement.

 

 

Above:  Towards the north, the adjacent mast at Selkirk is visible.  

 


SITE INFORMATION


Location:

Ashkirk, Scottish Borders

Grid Reference:

NT470244

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: BBC/Crown Castle UK/NGW)

Ground Height:

300.5m

ITV Region:

N/A - Transmitted from Selkirk

Mast Height:

229.1m

BBC Region:

N/A - Transmitted from Selkirk

Aerial Height:

 


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television 

 

 

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None - Transmitted from Selkirk 

 

 Service:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

 

 

 

BBC Radio 1:

98.7

50kW

Digital Radio

 

 

BBC Radio 2:

89.1

50kW

 

 

 

 

BBC Radio 3:

91.3

50kW

None - Transmitted from Selkirk

 

BBC Radio 4:

103.9

50kW

 

 

 

BBC Radio Scotland (Tweed):

93.5

50kW


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