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Decision Summary

This building has been assessed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. The asset currently does not meet the criteria for listing. It is not listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended.

Name: Former RAF North Luffenham

Reference Number: 1421982

Location

Former RAF North Luffenham

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Decision Date: 11-Aug-2014

Description

Summary of Building

The former RAF North Luffenham, constructed 1939, known as St Georges' Barracks in 2014.

Reasons for currently not Listing the Building

RAF North Luffenham, currently St George’s Barracks in Edith Weston, Rultand, an aerodrome opened in 1940, is not recommended for designation for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: the aerodrome’s technical and domestic buildings have been extensively altered diminishing the architectural interest of such standardised buildings overall; * Historic Interest: the operational importance of the base for Britain’s V bomber force is readily acknowledged, but does not outweigh the loss of historic fabric, fixtures and fittings; * Group Value; the site has some group value with the listed Thor Missile compound, but this does not compensate for the loss of architectural interest through attrition.

History

RAF North Luffenham is a late Expansion Period (scheme M) airbase, constructed from 1939 with a grass flying field and opening in December 1940, when it accommodated the No. 17 Elementary Flying Training School. By the summer of 1941, 61 and 144 Squadrons were brought to Luffenham from RAF Hemswell, but from 1943 work commenced to lay hard surfaced runways and hardstandings for heavy bombers. The airbase re-opened in March 1944 and was used initially by the Heavy Glider Conversion Unit, but returned to bomber crew training from September of that year until October 1945. New hardstandings were constructed in 1950 for training Transport Command, but from 1951 fighter squadrons were established at North Luffenham under a NATO directive. The airbase was selected as a main Thor missile site in June 1958, taking receipt of the missiles at the end of 1959. Four satellite stations were under its command: RAF Harrington; RAF Polebrook; RAF Melton Mowbray and RAF Folkingham. Contemporary with the Thor missile facility at RAF North Luffenham was the Bloodhound Mark 1 Tactical Control Centre (TCC) controlling the missile sites at Woolfox Lodge and Warboys. The TCC site comprised a range of standard buildings: the TCC itself housed the weapons control team; a separate radar was mounted on top of a twelve-sided concrete tower, joined to a three-storey structure housing transmitting and receiving equipment.

The TCC buildings at North Luffenham were stood down in 1963.Thereafter, the base became the home of Support Command until 1997 when the airbase was closed, to be reopened as St George's Barracks by the Royal Anglican Regiment in 1998. The buildings have been remodelled accordingly. The Bloodhound Tactical Control Centre has been used as an ancillary building since 1963, occupied by the training flight and RAF Bomb disposal; internal and external modifications have occurred including the replacement of fenestration with uPVC alternatives. The hangars and many of the technical buildings have private commercial uses. The airfield is used for manoeuvres by the Army.

Details

Former RAF station, in use as an Army Barracks in 2014.

MATERIALS: Buildings constructed from brick and concrete. The Tactical Control Centre (TCC) lies at the south-west end of the airfield; it is steel-framed and brick clad and the radar head building is of concrete construction.

PLAN: The station is laid out in a typical Scheme M plan, aligned south-west to north-east.

EXTERIOR: The original drive led from the south-west where the Station HQ lies opposite the guardroom. To its north is a Mess building. Further to the east, ‘H’ block barrack accommodation for airmen is arranged on either side of the parade ground, which has, as its north arm, the former airmen’s dining room and institute building. These remaining 1930s buildings have the standard Air Ministry designs by Bulloch and his successor Binge, in a simplified Georgian style, generally with flat-roofs. All are said to have replacement uPVC fenestration and many have been modified in the later C20. The housing for officers and families is of a later date and lies further to the north.

To the south-east of the administrative buildings lies the technical complex. West of the flying field are two largely intact ‘J’ type hangars (one modified for use as a Thor Receipt and Inspection Maintenance Building); two other T2’s were added later. The Air Traffic Control Tower is of 1939 design; the flying field largely retains its WWII runway and perimeter layout. At the north-east of the airfield is the Thor missile site (listed at Grade II*). At the south-west end of the airfield is the Bloodhound Mark I Tactical Control Centre, one of three of a standard type in the east of England, with its radar head building and stand-by set house nearby. The TCC has replacement fenestration and some blocked openings.

INTERIOR: Only the Tactical Control Centre has been inspected. Use as a meteorological centre in recent years has resulted in interior remodelling and there is no equipment pertaining to the Bloodhound use remaining. The radar is no longer present on the supporting tower and there is no evidence of contemporary interior features or equipment.

The map accompanying this report is indicative only.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Cocroft, WD, Thomas, RJC, Cold War: Building for Nuclear Confrontation 1946-1989, (2003)

Map

National Grid Reference: Not applicable to this List entry.


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This copy shows the entry on 15-Jun-2024 at 05:03:00.