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Historic England Research Records

Stonehenge Aerodrome

Hob Uid: 1362696
Location :
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Amesbury
Grid Ref : SU1169041864
Summary : A First World War military airfield, built in 1917 and closed in 1921. It was used by units of the Royal Navy Air Service and the Royal Air Force as a training base for day and night bombing. Training continued at Stonehenge until 1919 and in 1920 the site was briefly opened again by the School of Army Co-operation until 1921. During 1944 the airfield may have been briefly used by aircraft attached to the American 29th Infantry division, but this is uncertain.The First World War airfield was constructed to the south-west of Stonehenge. The extensive 320 acre site was made up of a complex of buildings and roads that can be seen on aerial photographs of the early 1920s. The site was split into a Technical area and a Domestic area. The Technical area contained six coupled General Service (GS) Aeroplane sheds, General Repair Sheds, numerous huts for workshops, Bessonneau hangars, two Handley Page aircraft sheds as well as fuel storage tanks. The Domestic area was used to house the off duty air crews and consisted of various messes and a large barracks area of tents and huts. Photographs taken in 1934 show that the complex was dismantled by that date, and on photographs taken in 1943 the aerodrome is only visible as earthwork remains. Traces of the site can still be seen as earthworks and as cropmarks.
More information : SU 1174 4188. Traces of an aerodrome about 500m to the south west of Stonehenge, constructed in the early twentieth century. An extensive complex of buildings and roadways can be seen on aerial photographs of the early 1920s, while photographs taken in 1934 show that the base had been dismantled by that date. Aerial photographs of 1943 show a regular pattern of earthwork remains at the site, covering an area of about 25 hectares. Traces of the site can still be seen as cropmarks on recent aerial photographs (2001), and have been mapped by EH's Stonehenge WHS Mapping Project. (1-8)

A World War One military airfield, built in 1917 and closed in 1921. It was used initially by units of the Royal navy Air Service then by the Royal Air Force. During 1944 the airfield may have been briefly used by aircraft attached to American 29th Infantry division but this is uncertain. Ron Priddle's work on aviation in Wiltshire gives full WWI unit details for this airfield. (9)

A 360 acre site laid out in 1917 by the RFC. The technical area included six paired GS sheds, numerous huts, workshops, Bessonneau hangars and two Handley Page sheds (to undertake Handley Page bomber training). There was also a spur line that connected to the site Larkhill military railway. A separate domestic part of the site included messes and barracks and there was another domestic site at the north end of the airfield for the Handley Page night crews. The main role of the base was to house two training units for day and night time bombing. Training continued on the site until September 1919 when the training school moved to Andover. In March 1920 the School of Army Co-operation formed here and stayed until January 1921 when the airfield closed permanently and began to be dismantled. For a full description of the training units and the aircraft used please refer to the source. (10)

South-west of Fargo Plantation. This is the site of the Stonehenge Airfield Night Camp built 1.2 km north-west of the airfield for off duty air crews during the First World War. All buildings were removed in the early 1930s. This source can be viewed accessed through the Heritage Gateway. (11)

Stonehenge Aerodrome. This contained a main Technical site, located to the north of the A303 and a Domestic site to the south of the road. The grass airstrip was between the Technical site and the A344 road to Shrewton. The Technical site contained 6 coupled GS Aeroplane Sheds, Aeroplane Repair Sheds, MT Sheds, workshops, stores, huts and offices. The Domestic site contained an Officer's mess and quarters, Sergeants' mess, barracks and other service buildings. The site closed in 1921 with the Domestic site becoming the Stonehenge Pedigree Stock Farm. The Technical site was demolished in 1929. This source can be viewed accessed through the Heritage Gateway. (12)

A very detailed record of Stonehenge Aerodrome can be found in this source. Details including the squadrons and facilities are recorded and there are a number of photographs and plans. (13)

Within the Stonehenge Triangle and on Stonehenge Down some aerodrome building foundations can still be seen as low spread earthworks. (14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Stonehenge and its environs: monuments and land use
Source details :
Page(s) : XXIII-XXIV
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1142/7 (CCC 8535/916) 24-MAY-1921
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Source Number : 11
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : English Heritage. 2008. Heritage Gateway Wiltshire SMR, [Accessed 03-DEC-2008]
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Source Number : 13
Source : WINGS OVER WILTSHIRE
Source details :
Page(s) : 298-302
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Source Number : 14
Source : Research Department Report Series
Source details : D Field and T Pearson, Stonehenge WHS Landscape Project: Stonehenge Down and Triangle
Page(s) : 6, 12-13, 33-6
Figs. : 3, 6, 18
Plates :
Vol(s) : 105-2011
Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1242/89 (CCC 11796/4519) 12-JUL-1928
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1142/14 (CCC 11752/4517)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1141/53 (CCC 5203/05683) 09-FEB-1934
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Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : USAAF US/7PH/GP/LOC122 1050 24-DEC-1943
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Source Number : 7
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1141/62 (14955/05) 07-JUL-1993
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Source Number : 8
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 1141/82 (21171/07) 25-FEB-2001
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Priddle R, 2003: "Wings Over Wiltshire: An Aeronautical History of Wiltshire pp 298 302.
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Source Number : 10
Source : The Military Airfields of Britain. South Western England: Channel islands, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 318
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : airfield in operation 197-1919
Monument End Date : 1919
Monument Start Date : 1917
Monument Type : Military Airfield, Bessonneau Aircraft Hangar, Road, Barracks, Mess, Workshop, Military Building
Evidence : Cropmark, Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : opened as army training unit 1920-21
Monument End Date : 1921
Monument Start Date : 1920
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : First World War
Display Date : Used 1917-1919
Monument End Date : 1919
Monument Start Date : 1917
Monument Type : Military Airfield, Military Building, Road, Bessonneau Aircraft Hangar, Mess, Barracks, General Service Shed
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Cropmark, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : possible WW2 base
Monument End Date : 1944
Monument Start Date : 1944
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Uncertain Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SU14SW537
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SU14SW542
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 14 SW 645
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1362670
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 1362705
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1368175
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1544710
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1544713
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1544714
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1552744
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1582451
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1582453
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: STONEHENGE WHS MAPPING PROJECT NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2001-02-01
End Date : 2001-07-01
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: STONEHENGE WHS LANDSCAPE PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31
Associated Activities : STONEHENGE WHS: STONEHENGE AERODROME
Activity type : FIELD SURVEY
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31