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RAF Leuchars, Domestic Side, Barracks Blocks, Buildings 1, 2, 3 and 5

A Category C Listed Building in Leuchars, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3795 / 56°22'46"N

Longitude: -2.8834 / 2°53'0"W

OS Eastings: 345540

OS Northings: 721148

OS Grid: NO455211

Mapcode National: GBR 2N.204K

Mapcode Global: WH7RR.PX49

Entry Name: RAF Leuchars, Domestic Side, Barracks Blocks, Buildings 1, 2, 3 and 5

Listing Date: 8 February 2010

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400356

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51417

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Civil Parish: Leuchars

Unitary Authority Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife

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Leuchars

Description

Dated 1935 (building No 5 dated 1936). 2-storey 11-bay Georgian Revival group of 4 barracks blocks forming L-plan with 1, 2 and 3 overlooking former parade ground (now a car park). Cream harl with moulded sandstone architraves to entrance doors. Base course. Projecting cills. Central advanced pedimented 3-bay section with oculus window in apex. Central lower 2-storey outshot to rear. 2-leaf 6-panel timber doors with 5-light rectangular fanlights above. Non-traditional glazing. Grey slate.

INTERIOR: (building No 5 seen 2007) simple, functional and modernised.

Statement of Interest

These barrack blocks date from the 1930s expansion of RAF Leuchars when the Air Ministry designated the airfield to be one of six of strategic importance. They are a key component of the domestic side of the airfield and, notwithstanding the loss of their traditional glazing pattern, they remain substantially externally intact.

Information from AiX ARG Archive Limited notes that the design dates to 1932, but building work may not have commenced until 1935 with further works in 1936. The four examples of this type of barrack block are the only examples in Scotland. The blocks are likely to be type C blocks which accommodated 4 NCOs and 64 airmen. The blocks date from a period of expansion across all RAF stations between 1930 and 1934.

The blocks are named Arran (No 1), Gordon (No 2), Cheviot (No 3) and Drummond (No 5).

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 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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