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Report (Permission Visit) RAF Rendcombe Airfield,Cirencester,Sept 2014

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by huey, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Aug 4, 2014
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    RAF Rendcombe was first built in 1914 as a training ground for WW1,despite all the effort and around 300 people being billeted there it only saw action once. After the war it was sold off and has stayed in private hands ever since. 35 years ago a Mr Norman found it and restored the place back to its former glory,even going so far as to plough and re-seed the airfield with the exact same grass seed as was used originally.
    Locals know it because of the 'Utterlly Butterly' display team and more recently,if you have the spare £350,the wing-walking Breitling team being based there. Security is tight around the buildings,only a few invitation only events take place each year.

    Original restored club house
    Insert your own hangers joke here...
    Breitling wing walkers
    Lovely old girl
    Front seat
    Pilot seat view

    Nick Mason (of Pink Floyd drummer fame) is a millionaire car nut and keeps many of his collection here-Supercharged Bugatti type 35,1902 Panhard,Ferrari Daytona,McClaren F1,ex-Steve Mcqueen Ferrari 512S etc etc,no wonder security is tight!
    Rendcombe is located 5 miles north of Cirencester on the A435,a bit out on its own but an interesting mooch anyway.
    #1 huey, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014

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  2. Coxieboy

    Coxieboy 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 26, 2013
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    Short but cracking report, right out of the blue!
  3. A man called Martyn

    A man called Martyn cultural theorist
    Regular User

    Aug 30, 2008
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    Not being here for 19 years. I had the pleasure of a look around the rare treasures that lived in those hangers, at the time. The village churchyard contains reminders of the RFC presence at Rendcombe, among them a grave of a one day old child whose father was an RFC officer billetted with the local black smith. It would be nice if the thread title could be changed to RFC Rendcombe and references to RAF changed accordingly to RFC. It would help to distinguish this much earlier airfield.
    The Stearman in the pictures used to be a travelling exhibit and did the rounds at airshows.
  4. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    May 29, 2013
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    Do like that, nice report mate :thumb
  5. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator

    Mar 19, 2007
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    RFC Rendcomb opened in 1916, and was renamed RAF Rendcomb in April 1918 - It closed in 1919

    So the title is really correct - The signage is not original.


    A First World War military airfield is visible as cropmarks, earthworks and standing buildings on aerial photographs taken in 1946 and 1947. The site comprises ten probable hangars, four taxiways, a quarry, hardstandings, 19 probable buildings, possible stacked boxes and other storage and at least 20 earthwork ditches which are likely to be the result of concrete hardstandings for buildings being removed.

    Ten hangars are visible on the western side of the site, defined parch marks on the grass. These are indicative of buried areas of hard standing. Four taxiways protrude from the southern four hangars. These extend for 46 metres and are 5 metres wide.

    A quarry is visible in the northwestern corner of the site. It measures a maximum of 54 metres east-west and 38 metres north-south. The quarry does not appear on the Ordnance Survey map of 1902 (see source 5), but it does appear on the Ordnance Survey map of 1921 (see source 6). It is therefore likely to be connected with the construction of the airfield. The quarry is still visible, although overgrown with vegetation, on aerial photographs taken in 1973 (see source 4). The quarry was dug to exploit the great oolite limestone which is shown on the geological map at this location (see source 7).

    There are at least 19 probable buildings visible which are still standing in aerial photographs taken in 1946-1947. Some of the smaller ones may be stacks of boxes or other storage. There are 20 earthwork ditches which probably represent destroyed buildings; the ditches are probably the result of concrete hard standings being removed by machine. The extant and destroyed buildings are situated on the north side of the airfield. (see sources 1-3).

    The aerodrome is thought to have opened in early 1916, and was the base of 48 Squadron. It became active in June 1916, when 48 Squadron received its BE12s. The Bristol F.2As arrived in February of 1917, and the squadron left for France for the spring offensive on the 8th of March.

    In August 1917 No. 21 Wing established its base in Cirencester, with No. 38 Reserve Squadron formed at Rendcombe. This was renamed 38 Training Squadron in May 1917, and was equipped with Bristol fighters. No 110 Squadron was formed here on November 1st 1917 and left on November 12, with BE 2c/d light bombers.

    38 Training squadron became 45 training Depot Station, with elementary, operational and advanced squadrons. The units were disbanded in late 1919, with dismemberment of the camp taking place in 1920-1921. The air ministry inspected Rendcombe in 1939 with a view to reopening, though it was decided that the tall radio masts south of Nordown were too close
    #5 Ordnance, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  6. Punk

    Punk Maple Syrup Baron
    Regular User

    Sep 29, 2012
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    Nice one, shame to see the Utterly Butterly plane in that state
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