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RAF Leuchars, Domestic Side, Former Squash Court, Building No 70

A Category C Listed Building in Leuchars, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3781 / 56°22'41"N

Longitude: -2.8842 / 2°53'2"W

OS Eastings: 345494

OS Northings: 720999

OS Grid: NO454209

Mapcode National: GBR 2M.25Z8

Mapcode Global: WH7RR.NYSB

Entry Name: RAF Leuchars, Domestic Side, Former Squash Court, Building No 70

Listing Date: 8 February 2010

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400358

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51419

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Leuchars

County: Fife

Civil Parish: Leuchars

Unitary Authority Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife

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Leuchars

Description

Between 1922-1933. Former squash court, converted to gymnasium. Gabled rectangular plan. Rendered and painted brick. Side elevations with slim buttresses. Eaves band with simple stepped brick detail at either end. Entrance elevation to S with door flanked by 6-pane fixed light metal windows. Above, tripartite casement metal window. Grey slate roof.

INTERIOR: boarded timber ceiling with metal roof trusses. Viewing platform to S with simple timber balcony.

Statement of Interest

Amongst the earliest buildings on the domestic side of RAF Leuchars, this former Squash Court is an important and integral part of the air base. Leisure buildings were vital for morale and fitness for service personnel. Such intact Pre-World War II structures at military sites do not survive in great numbers. It is one of two squash courts on the domestic side, the other one not appearing on the 1933 plan of Leuchars Airfield (RCAHMS report p14). After the Armistice at the end of the First World War construction at Leuchars slowed, with the southern end of the site not completed until after 1922. It is likely that the squash court dates from this period of post-Armistice expansion.

According to AiX the building is not to a standard design, predating the standard squash court design of drawing 2/30 which was commonly constructed prior to World War II.

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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