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Historic England Research Records

Gloster Aircraft Factory

Hob Uid: 1031173
Location :
Gloucestershire
Stroud, Tewkesbury
Upton St. Leonards, Brockworth, Hucclecote
Grid Ref : SO8811316042
Summary : Aircraft manufacture plant covering three sites. Production began circa 1915 and became the home of the Gloster Aircraft Company who went on to produce the first British jet aircraft. A central services building was added for the site in 1964 when it was converted to an industrial estate. Second World War airfield structures, defensive positions and camouflage at the GAC factory airfield are visible on historic aerial photographs. These include painted camouflage deception field boundaries on the airfield and runway, gunposts, signal square and aircraft compass platform. None of these features are visible in aerial photographs taken in 2013.
More information : Second World War airfield structures, defensive positions and camouflage at the Gloster Aircraft Company (GAC) factory airfield are visible on historic aerial photographs and were mapped as part of the Severn Vale NMP project.
As part of the attempt to confuse German bomber crews, the concrete runway appears to have been painted a dark colour in 1944. Both the runway and the grass airfield have been painted with an irregular pattern of hedged field boundaries and trees in dark colours (in bitumen?), though the painted field patterns do not match the field boundaries recorded on pre-war Ordnance Survey maps. Due to limited wartime aerial photographic coverage viewed by the Severn Vale NMP project, the whole of the wartime airfield was not visible and therefore the full extent of these camouflage deception measures is not recorded. By 1946, none of the paint field boundary camouflage was visible.
A signal square is recorded at SO 88396 15917, and an aircraft compass platform at SO 88272 15668 at the end a taxiway. Both features were still visible in 1956 though no longer visible in aerial photographs taken in 2013 presumably demolished and destroyed as part of the expansion of Gloucester Business Park.
A ‘d’ shaped curvilinear earthwork bank is centred at SO 87960 16445, though its function is unknown, within which is a 13 x 6 metres subrectangular earthwork bank. This may possibly be an air raid shelter, but this is speculative. This earthwork has been built over by expansion of the GAC factory by 1956 and is presumably destroyed.
Four possible Second World War gunposts or pillboxes are located on the north and east side of the Gloster Aircraft Company factory and airfield. Centred at SO 88456 16035, SO 87820 16753, SO 87828 16480 and SO 88050 16461, the possible defensive positions consist of a subcircular structure 4.5 to 6 metres in diameter that may be earth protected, though the quality of the 1944 dated aerial photographs makes it difficult to interpret and the features appear to have been demolished by 1946. The sites of pillboxes/gunposts adjacent the factory buildings have been built over by expansion of the GAC factory by 1956 and are presumably destroyed. There is no evidence of the structure on Golf Club Lane on aerial photographs taken in 2013. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : US/7PH/GP/LOC234 5040-5041 15-MAR-1944
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/106G/UK/1558 RP 3017-3019 07-JUN-1946
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/58/1976 F21 0113 09-APR-1956
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 13-JUL-2013 ACCESSED 23-JUL-2014
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Altered 1935-39
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1935
Monument Type : Aircraft Factory, Aircraft Engine Factory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Altered 1953
Monument End Date : 1953
Monument Start Date : 1953
Monument Type : Aircraft Engine Factory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 1964 change of use
Monument End Date : 1964
Monument Start Date : 1964
Monument Type : Industrial Estate
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Built 1915-1918
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1915
Monument Type : Aircraft Factory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Airfield, Runway, Taxiway, Signal Square, Aircraft Compass Platform, Aircraft Obstruction, Pillbox, Gunpost, Aircraft Factory
Evidence : Earthwork, Levelled Earthwork, Structure, Demolished Structure, Extant Building, Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Altered 1941-2
Monument End Date : 1942
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Aircraft Factory, Runway, Airfield
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure, Demolished Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 90966
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Gloucestershire)
External Cross Reference Number : 21177
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SO 81 NE 44
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, SURVEY BY TIM KERSHAW
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
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