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Name:RAF Faldingworth
HER Number:53409
Type of record:Monument

Summary

RAF Faldingworth was opened in October 1943 as a station of Bomber Command. It fully closed as a military airfield in 1972.

Grid Reference:TF 033 854
Map Sheet:TF08NW
Parish:FALDINGWORTH, WEST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE
SPRIDLINGTON, WEST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE
TOFT NEWTON, WEST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Full description

RAF Faldingworth was opened in October 1943 as a station of Bomber Command. It was closed as an active station in October 1948, but was maintained during the 1950s as a munitions supply facility. It fully closed as a military airfield in 1972. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}

A large number of strong magnetic anomalies, clearly associated with the activities of the former airfield, were recorded during a magnetometry survey, conducted at the southern edge of the site in February 2014. The anomalies include the remains of former land drains and services, an aircraft dispersal point, and other miscellaneous ferrous materials. {6}

RAF Faldingworth was used to store nuclear weapons durnig the Cold War. It was one of two specialised nuclear bomb storage and maintenance facilities in the UK, which were built in 1957 for the first British nuclear bomb 'Blue Danube' (the other being RAF Barnham in Suffolk). The main storage structures were contained within a five-sided compound, surrounded by a high wire mesh and barbed wire fence. Mid-way along the sides were projecting bastions that allowed the whole perimeter to be monitored from the inner patrol paths and the watch towers at each corner. A second, inner boundary line consisted of concrete panel fencing topped with more barbed wire. The buildings within this compound comprised fissile core stores, non-nuclear component stores, and maintenance buildings. There were three of the rectangular, type DD, non-nuclear store buildings, which were used to hold the outer casings and the high explosive parts of the bomb. There were originally 57 of the fissile core store buildings; 48 Type A stores, which were designed to hold a single core, and 9 Type B stores, which held two cores, allowing RAF Faldingworth to store a total of 132 fissile cores. All of these sturctures were small hutches or kiosk style buildings, although only two of the type B stores now survive. RAF Faldingworth also had type D1 weapon preparation areas, an atomic bomb testing building, and a proof range. The UK changed its strategic nuclear deterrent from bombs to balistic missiles in the late 1960s, making the storage facilities at Faldingworth redundant. The base was consequently closed by the RAF in 1972. Many of the surviving nuclear bomb storage structures were individually listed in 2019. {7}


<1> OS, 1956, OS 6 INCH SERIES, TF 08 NW, SW (Map). SLI3659.

<2> Ordnance Survey, 1970, 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Series Map, TF 08 NW, SW (Map). SLI3614.

<3> T.N. Hancock, 1978, Bomber County, pp.44, 57-8, 60, 66, 68, 90, 95, 117 (Bibliographic Reference). SLI1060.

<4> Ron N.E. Blake, Mike Hodgson and Bill J. Taylor, 1984, The Airfields of Lincolnshire Since 1912, p.82 (Bibliographic Reference). SLI10563.

<5> Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1992-1996, National Mapping Programme, TF0385: LI.498.1.1 (Map). SLI3613.

<6> Pre-Construct Geophysics, 2014, Proposed Solar Installation, Former RAF Faldingworth, - (Report). SLI15404.

<7> Wayne D. Cocroft and Roger J.C. Thomas, 2003, Cold War: Building for Nuclear Confrontation 1946-1989, pp.29-36 (Bibliographic Reference). SLI16034.

Monument Types

  • AIRFIELD (Modern - 1943 AD to 1972 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (Modern - 1943 AD to 1972 AD)

Associated Events

  • Proposed Solar Installation, Former RAF Faldingworth

Sources and further reading

<1>Map: OS. 1956. OS 6 INCH SERIES. TF 08 NW, SW.
<2>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1970. 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Series Map. 1:10000. TF 08 NW, SW.
<3>Bibliographic Reference: T.N. Hancock. 1978. Bomber County. pp.44, 57-8, 60, 66, 68, 90, 95, 117.
<4>Bibliographic Reference: Ron N.E. Blake, Mike Hodgson and Bill J. Taylor. 1984. The Airfields of Lincolnshire Since 1912. p.82.
<5>Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. National Mapping Programme. TF0385: LI.498.1.1.
<6>Report: Pre-Construct Geophysics. 2014. Proposed Solar Installation, Former RAF Faldingworth. -.
<7>Bibliographic Reference: Wayne D. Cocroft and Roger J.C. Thomas. 2003. Cold War: Building for Nuclear Confrontation 1946-1989. pp.29-36.

Related records

58277Parent of: Eastern Former Atomic Bomb Store, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58279Parent of: Former Atomic Bomb Testing Building, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58284Parent of: Former Proof Range, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
56625Parent of: Former RAF Faldingworth Barrack Blocks, Toft Newton (Building)
58276Parent of: Northern Former Atomic Bomb Store, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58281Parent of: Northern Former BD Fissile Core Storage Building, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58282Parent of: Northern Former D1 Weapon Preparation Building, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58278Parent of: Southeastern Former Atomic Bomb Store, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58280Parent of: Southern Former BD Fissile Core Storage Building, RAF Faldingworth (Building)
58283Parent of: Southern Former D1 Weapon Preparation Buidling, RAF Faldingworth (Building)