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St Hilary transmitting station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St. Hilary
St Hilary Transmission Mast - - 1236014.jpg
St Hilary transmitting station (Vale of Glamorgan)
Mast height229 metres (750 ft)
Coordinates51°27′26″N 3°24′11″W / 51.457222°N 3.402944°W / 51.457222; -3.402944
Grid referenceST026741
ITV regionTWW (1958-1968)
HTV (1968-1985)

The St Hilary transmitting station is a facility for telecommunications situated close to the village of St Hilary, Glamorgan in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, in the UK. It comprises a 229-metre (750 ft) guyed mast with antennas attached at various heights. The site was established in 1958 for Independent Television transmission on VHF. Transmissions from the site include FM radio, DAB radio and mobile telephone signals.

It broadcasts Heart Wales on FM and DAB to the large parts of South Wales.[1]

Its broadcast areas include: St. Hilary, Cowbridge, Ystradowen, Miskin, Pontyclun, Bonvilston, St. Nicholas, Swansea, Llanelli, West of Barry, Pontypridd, Caerphilly, Mountain Ash, Llantrisant, Church Village and Talbot Green.

The studios of the regional radio station Nation Radio are located on the site and its DAB transmissions to south-east Wales are made from the mast. Nation Radio also transmits from other sites, including on FM from nearby Wenvoe and from Kilvey Hill near Swansea.[2][1][3]



The plan by the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to build a mast at the site was controversial (prompting a House of Lords debate in May 1957[4]). This was due to its proximity to Rhoose Airport (now Cardiff International Airport), and ITA's initial plan for a 305 m (1,000 ft) mast on a site that itself is 125 m (410 ft) above sea level.

Objections were noted, the mast height was eventually limited to 229 m (750 ft) and it was built by BICC[5] in Summer 1957 to provide 405-line VHF television to south Wales and the West of England.


Test transmissions commenced on 2 September 1957 on Band III channel 10 (199.75 MHz) from antennas at 340 m above sea level and the station entered television broadcast service on that frequency in January 1958. The programming was initially provided by TWW.

In 1965, Band III channel 7 (184.75 MHz) was added to the mast, transmitting from an antenna array sited about 20 m below the existing channel 10 array. This was to carry the programmes of the bilingual Teledu Cymru service that were already being provided by TWW in the rest of Wales, which in 1968 was replaced by Harlech Television (HTV Wales). From that point onwards, the channel 10 transmissions carried the English-language "General Service" (again, initially provided by TWW, and from 1968 by HTV West). Channel 10's power output was decreased to 55 kW and the Wales-facing antennas were removed, though the power output towards the West of England remained about the same as it had been previously.

In 1985, when 405-line TV closed, the site was re-engineered to remove the VHF television antennas. St. Hilary became just a telecommunications mast and remained so until October 2000 when Real Radio commenced FM Radio broadcasting from the site. In late 2000, DAB Digital Radio was added to the radio broadcasting repertoire initially transmitting the Cardiff & Newport multiplex on channel 11C, but with Swansea SW Wales on channel 12A commencing in February 2004.[6]

In 2006 Ofcom received a proposal[7] for a new Rock-Orientated FM station to transmit from the site, but the licence was awarded to Xfm South Wales, now Nation Radio. Nation's studios are located at the foot of the St Hilary mast, but the station's Cardiff transmitter is a few miles away at Wenvoe.


Analogue television

14 January 1958 - 15 February 1965

Frequency VHF kW Service
199.75 MHz 10 200 TWW

15 February 1965 - 3 January 1985

Frequency VHF kW Service
184.75 MHz 7 100 HTV Wales (TWW Teledu Cymru until 1968)
199.75 MHz 10 55 HTV West/HTV General Service (TWW General Service until 1968)

Analogue radio (VHF FM)

October 2000 - May 2014

Frequency kW Service
105.4 MHz 5 Real Radio

May 2014 - present day

Frequency kW Service
105.4 MHz 5 Heart

Digital Radio (DAB)

October 2000 - 31 January 2004

Frequency Block kW Operator
220.352 MHz 11C 2 NOW Cardiff & Newport

February 2004 - Present

Frequency Block kW Operator
227.360 MHz 12C 2 South East Wales
223.936 MHz 12A 1 Swansea SW Wales

See also


  1. ^ a b "St Hilary (The Vale of Glamorgan, Wales) DAB transmitter". UK Free TV. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Nation Radio". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Analogue Broadcast Radio Measured Coverage Area (MCA) Maps" (PDF). Ofcom.
  4. ^ "TELEVISION MAST NEAR RHOOSE AIRPORT (Hansard, 2 May 1957)". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  5. ^ Times Tuesday 27 October 1959, page 6
  6. ^ "Swansea dab - Page 6 - Radio - Digital Spy Forums". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  7. ^[bare URL]

External links

This page was last edited on 21 September 2021, at 07:44
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