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Rraf Leuchars, Domestic Side, Former Barracks Blocks

A Category B Listed Building in Leuchars, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3785 / 56°22'42"N

Longitude: -2.8842 / 2°53'3"W

OS Eastings: 345489

OS Northings: 721037

OS Grid: NO454210

Mapcode National: GBR 2M.25Z4

Mapcode Global: WH7RR.NYR2

Entry Name: Rraf Leuchars, Domestic Side, Former Barracks Blocks

Listing Date: 8 February 2010

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400579

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51418

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Civil Parish: Leuchars

Unitary Authority Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Lieutenant JGN Clift (Royal Engineers), circa 1918. group of 3 gabled former barracks blocks laid out in parallel. Single storey 8-bay rectangular plan with distinctive full length raised central area to roof with clerestorey windows. Rendered and painted brick. Bays divided by buttresses. Lean-to porches to N elevation. Corrugated metal roofs.

Predominantly 6-pane casement windows with 2-light top hung panel above. 8-pane fixed light glazing to clerestorey.

INTERIOR: modernised.

Statement of Interest

Amongst the earliest buildings on the domestic side of RAF Leuchars, these former barrack blocks are important and rare early survivors. World War One barrack blocks at military sites do not survive in great numbers. These blocks form a key part of the history of the air base. It is possible that they may date from around 1918 as they are the same as a single surviving example at the former RAF Duxford which was constructed as Officers' Quarters to drawing No 481/18 by Lieutenant J G N Clift of the War Office's Directorate of Fortifications and Works.

The barrack blocks are second generation World War One designs, each housing 86 men. They were once part of two groups of six similar structures and the design of this type of block replaced the Armstrong Hut which had been used previously on RAF stations. The interior could be used as an open plan barrack room or subdivided to provide individual accommodation for officers.

Lieutenant JGN Clift was understudy to Lieutenant Colonel BHO Armstrong at the War Office Directorate of Fortifications and Works, before eventually succeeding him in 1918. He left the Directorate in mid 1919.

RAF Leuchars is remarkable for its collection of airfield structures detailing aviation and military history from the First World War until the Cold War period and beyond. Within Scotland it is one of the best-preserved airfields and in UK terms it is considered to be within the ten most important sites. It is one of the earliest aerodromes in Scotland with balloon flights taking place from a nearby site in 1911 and the airfield itself became a permanent establishment by 1918. It was used as a training base in the 1920s and the site was chosen by the War Office for its major expansion of RAF Stations in the 1930s. A number of hangars and other buildings were added in 1938-9 and World War II acted as a catalyst for yet more development. Unusually, the airfield continued in use after the the Second World War and jet fighters were introduced in 1950. The construction of NATO Cold War defences in the early 1980s was further significant addition to the structures on the site. Buildings dating from all major stages of the airfield's development remain at Leuchars. It is currently the Royal Air Force's principal operational fighter station.

The site covers 371 hectares and has an east-west and northeast-southwest runway layout with perimeter taxiways and the typical arrangement of a domestic side and a technical side separated by a road.

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