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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: Officers Mess

Reference Number: 1465339

Location

The Officers' Mess, St. Georges Barracks, North Luffenham, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8RL

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

County: 
District: Rutland
District Type: Unitary Authority
Parish: Edith Weston

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Decision Date: 25-Jun-2019

Description

Summary of Building

A former Officers Mess in an austere classical style, dating to the 1930s and built for the Ministry of Defence in a style influenced by the Royal Fine Arts Commission.

Reasons for currently not Listing the Building

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION

The Officers Mess building at the former RAF North Luffenham in Edith Weston, Lincolnshire, dating to 1940 and built to designs influenced by the Royal Fine Arts Commission, is not added to the list for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* its a building of simple design and a late example of its type;

* the degree of alteration including the replacement of the windows has compromised the architectural interest;

Historic interest:

* as there are no events or figures of national note which are directly associated to or with the building.

History

One of the greatest changes in warfare during the C20 was the growth of military aviation. At the outbreak of the First World War there were just a handful of military airfields but by the end of the war, when the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were combined to form the Royal Air Force, the new service occupied 301 airfields, including airship and fighter stations, and training depots. After the war all but 30 were closed and the number of airfields did not substantially increase until the early 1930s. During the 1920s and 1930s under the Chief of the Air Staff, Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard, new permanent airfields were established to house the deterrent bomber forces and defensive fighters.

These new airfields were built to high design principles with standardised technical and domestic areas. Contemporary amenity societies were concerned at the intrusion of these large developments into the countryside and one consequence was the construction of the larger domestic buildings in neo-Georgian style. Many also had tree-lined roads and widely spaced buildings to guard against bombing which gave them a campus-like quality.

RAF North Luffenham was established in 1940 towards the end of the expansion period and following the commencement of the war. It was initially used as a training airfield, later being used by 5th Group of Bomber Command. Following the War the airfield was used by the Royal Canadian Airforce and latterly the RAF. In 1998 the airfield closed and the site was transferred to the army and became St George’s Barracks. It now houses 1st Military Working Dogs Regiment of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and the 2nd Regiment of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

The design of the buildings at North Luffenham also shows the ongoing impact of the Royal Fine Arts Commission on the post-1934 Expansion Period, but especially the 'guiding hand' of Sir Edwin Lutyens in its careful grouping of openings, and in the paired chimney stacks. It was planned according to the principles of dispersal, established by Trenchard in the early 1920s, whereby the central dining area and recreational facilities are separated from the accommodation wings by lengths of corridors with the idea of localising the effects of bomb damage.

Details

A former Officers' Mess in an austere classical style, dating to the 1940s and built for the Ministry of Defence to a design influenced by the Royal Fine Arts Commission.

MATERIALS: the building is constructed of brown brick laid in stretcher bond, with a slate roof. The windows are predominantly replacement double glazed uPVC units although some metal framed windows remain.

PLAN: the building has a central core with L-plan accommodation wings radiating from it to the east and west and further later accommodation wings to the further east and west.

DESCRIPTION: the main block of the Officers' Mess is a full height one storey structure and is long and low. The principal elevation is of thirteen bays and faces to the south. It centres on a projecting flat-roofed section containing three round headed arch openings with radial fanlights, the centre one of which contains the main entrance reached by two low steps which run the length of the central section. These are flanked by long wings with five large openings on each side. There is a low parapet of soldier bricks and the pitched and hipped slate roof rises behind with ridge stacks. There is a further band of soldier bricks which also form the lintel of the windows. The windows are made up of a large panel at the top with the lower two thirds divided into four panes. The windows also have internal bars which give the appearance of a multi-paned unit. To east and west and perpendicular to the main block are L-planned two storey accommodation blocks which mirror each other on plan. The short legs run east-west, the longer leg reaches back to the north. These form the sides of a courtyard which contains the kitchen block, other services and a large loading bay.

INTERIOR: the main entrance leads to a small entrance porch which then leads to the large main foyer. This is a large full height space with blind round-headed recesses on each side, as well as large round headed doorways which lead to long corridors. That to the west gives access to a large bar and lounge area with a heavy rock-faced block fireplace. The corridor to the east of the central lobby leads to a large library with rock-faced tile fireplace. The room has prominent beams and a plain cornice and dado rail. On the other side a corridor leads to a large dining room set axial to the main corridor with a further larger banqueting hall beyond. A third dining room leads off the hall and has parquet flooring. There is a bar and a games area in this section of the building with a small kitchen area. The double doors in this section of the building are of multi-paned timber and have brass fittings. At the rear is the main kitchen with scullery and servery. Other services are located within this block, which is accessed internally via the largest dining room. The corridors on both sides lead into the accommodation wings, which have a main and a service staircase, the latter are built of stone with plain balusters. The rooms are laid out along corridors on each of the two floors, along with wcs, showers and other ablution facilities and laundry, service and storage areas. The bedrooms are either single or double rooms.

Selected Sources

None.

Map

National Grid Reference: SK9286405056


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This copy shows the entry on 25-Jun-2024 at 07:49:12.