Lisnagarvey transmitting station

The Lisnagarvey transmitting station is a facility for mediumwave broadcasting located in the townland of Magherageery, on the southern edge of Lisburn, Northern Ireland (grid reference J257619). It is close to Sprucefield shopping centre and about one mile from the middle of Lisburn.

Lisnagarvey mast viewed from Sprucefield
Lisnagarvey transmitting station is located in Northern Ireland
Lisnagarvey transmitting station
Lisnagarvey transmitting station (Northern Ireland)
Mast height99 metres (325 ft)
Coordinates54°29′23″N 6°03′37″W / 54.489722°N 6.060278°W / 54.489722; -6.060278
Grid referenceJ257619

The station was built by the BBC for the Regional Programme to be transmitted to Northern Ireland and it went into service in 1936. It is now owned by Arqiva.

During World War II, a 100 kW shortwave transmitter (Marconi model SWB18) was installed at the station as an alternative to the well-known one at Daventry in England, in case that one should suffer from an enemy attack. It transmitted on 6140 or 6145 kHz, and used the call sign GRW. The shortwave transmitter was taken out of service on 26 May 1946 and was later redeployed at the BBC Far Eastern Relay station at Tebrau, Malaya in January 1951.

The station includes three radio masts, including two standard lattice masts and one Blaw-Knox diamond cantilever vertical radiator. The two standard lattice masts have a wire slung T-antenna suspended between them. The Blaw-Knox radiator is the only one of its kind in Western Europe. The height of a vertical radiator is related to the frequency (or wavelength) of the service transmitted, and for maximum efficiency should be one half of the station's wavelength. Its height was originally 144.8 metres (475 ft), but it was shortened when the station's broadcast frequency was changed.

Similar masts in Europe can be found nowadays only at Lakihegy, Hungary, at Riga, Latvia, and at Vakarel, Bulgaria.

BBC Radio Ulster's service from the transmitter on 1341 kHz ended on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 0930 UTC, as part of the BBC's programme of switching off their medium wave services around the UK.[1]

BBC Radio 4's mediumwave services from this transmitter along with all of the other BBC Radio 4 mediumwave transmitters ended on 15 April 2024, following by a retune loop informing listeners to retune to other methods of reception.[2][3]

Transmitted services


Analogue radio (AM medium wave)

Frequency kW Service
909 kHz 10 BBC Radio 5 Live
1089 kHz 10 Talksport


Frequency kW Last service Switch-off date
720 kHz 10 BBC Radio 4 15 April 2024
1215 kHz 10 Absolute Radio 20 January 2023
1341 kHz 100 BBC Radio Ulster 6 May 2021

See also



  1. ^ "Ten more stations turn off Medium Wave services". 14 April 2021.
  2. ^ BBC Radio 4 ‘AM retune loop’ - 15/04/2024. Retrieved 15 April 2024 – via
  3. ^ "Date set for the closure of BBC Radio 4 medium wave frequencies". RadioToday. 21 March 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.