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HER Number:MDV78383
Name:Sleeping Shelter, Exeter Airfield

Summary

Concrete and brick sleeping shelter for 33 airmen.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 006 939
Map Sheet:SY09SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClyst Honiton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCLYST HONITON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • AIRFIELD SLEEPING SHELTER (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD (Between))

Full description

Passmore, A., 01/2013, New Heli-Pad, Exeter Airport, Results of Building Recording and Watcing Brief (Report - Watching Brief). SDV351042.

Building survey undertaken in advance of demolition.

The sleeping shelter measures 13m by 3.5m externally by 3m high, with an integral porch at its west end. The main body of the building incorporates a lobby at its east end where there is a further entrance. Within each of these entrances there would have been a pair of doors. These only survive the western porch, one of which retains its original light blue paint. The shelter was built on a concrete slab foundation that also acted as the floor. It is constructed of mainly red bricks, with some fired to
buff and blue colours) laid in English bond in creamy-pink cement, referred to as permanent brick in a military context. The walls were constructed directly onto the concrete floor slab. Other than the doorways, the only other external features in the brick walls are vents. There are two high-level openings – one in each of the gable (east and west) elevations, and where visible, six pairs of narrow vents at floor level providing ventilation to each bay (see below). The former are open, but the western
opening retains a wooden frame incorporating rebates for (now-removed) vent slats.

The roof sits on a concrete ringbeam that runs around the top of the walls. The roofs of the shelter and the porch are flat (presumably reinforced) concrete slabs encased in a waterproof bitumen lining that is degrading badly. The main body of the shelter is strengthened by a series of 6 reinforced concrete rings that wrap around the walls and the roof. These rings and the exposed undersides of the roofs display evidence for wooden shuttering used when the concrete was poured.

Internally, the building is divided into six bays by thin projecting integral brick partitions. The east bay incorporated an entrance lobby and has thicker brick walls to this lobby. Passing through the partitions are sockets that would have held timbers supporting the beds. There are pairs of sockets for the upper beds, and a single socket for the lower beds. In addition, further smaller sockets associated with the
upper beds may have held safety rails. The layout of the shelter indicates that it could have housed 33 airmen. The only other features were a cable and a hole for a second cable passing through the west wall of the porch, which presumably supplied electricity for a light.

Francis, P., 1999, Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council, 103 (Report - non-specific). SDV323390.

Sleeping Shelter for 33 personnel of Flight "BK", belonging to the eastern clutch within the loop dispersal area. Reinforced concrete framework and roof with 1.5 inch permanent brick wall infilling. Bunks arranged in 11 tiers of three.
In poor condition. Other details: Site 190; Map 10.

Salvatore, J., 2001, Exeter Airport (Correspondence). SDV348644.

Suggested for preservation as part of a heritage trail.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV323390Report - non-specific: Francis, P.. 1999. Exeter Airport. Historic Airport Survey for Devon County Council & East Devon District Council. Airfield Research Publishing Report. Digital + A4. 103.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #105259 ]
SDV348644Correspondence: Salvatore, J.. 2001. Exeter Airport. Email from English Heritage. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV351042Report - Watching Brief: Passmore, A.. 01/2013. New Heli-Pad, Exeter Airport, Results of Building Recording and Watcing Brief. AC Archaeology Historic Environment Record Entry. ACD496/2/1. Digital + A4.

Associated Monuments

MDV48842Part of: Exeter Airfield (Military) (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4774 - Historic Airport Survey, Exeter Airport

Date Last Edited:Mar 13 2020 8:22AM