View Full Version : Silverstone
Have noticed that nobody has posted much (if anything) about this famous airfield here on AIX. I'm just intrigued to know how much still survives of the airfield around the race track. As far as i know the tower was still standing and theres a memorial on site.
Much as i'd like to find out whats still there i'm not really into cars and racing enough to pay the massive admission prices they no doubt charge to get on there just to photograph the buildings as i'd totally ignore the cars completely. Just wondered if anybody on here has had a nosey round the place when visiting the race circuit....sorry i mean airfield!!
It's my local track so I know it quite well. Unfortunately, apart from the tower and a couple of adjacent huts there's nothing left on the main site, although there are a few disused huts on dispersed sites. There's a building that looks like a T2 hangar and is a similar size but I've never been inside to see if it is a reclad T2 or just a coincidence. Nevertheless it is situated on a former T2 concrete base - you can see the floor tracks for the doors outside.
There are actually two memorials. One commemorates the OTU that was based there and at nearby Turweston and is situated next to the old circuit offices. Behind one of the stands is an OS trig pillar that has a plaque commemorating a Halifax crash - there's usually a poppy wreath laid here at all times.
Of course the runways and peritrack are fairly intact although most of them are covered in tarmac for some reason.....
Thanks for the info Peter. Much appreciated.
Silverstone Control Tower. 1999
Finally got around to having a lil' snoop around Silverstone to see what still survives. Obviously the security guy at the main enterance wouldn't let us into the race track area to have a look at the control tower without an admission ticket (well it was worth a try i suppose!!) so myself and Wiganmick59 set off for a look around the communial sites and the memorial.
Heres some of the pics -
looks awfully similar to this...
...which is almost all that remains of the Sergeants' Mess 2612/42 at Deenethorpe.
All the best,
Thanks Paul, the brick steps were on the reverse of this shot......could you put up a comparison of what it would have looked like complete please.
...which is almost all that remains of the Sergeants' Mess 2612/42 at Deenethorpe.
That is uncanny how both the remains of the buildings look so similar.
Heres a another pic of what could possibly be the sergents mess then at Silverstone from behind -
Silverstone is littered with building bases and foundations everywhere.
Sadly the current re-development work at Silverstone means the old airfield layout is now increasingly difficult to see:
Didn't they have an airstrip there on one of the old runways for race days?
Yep, 06/24, it's at the bottom edge of the grass triangle to the top right of the airfield in the piccy above, and shown below. A cart track has been laid on top of it and along with the loss of the runway markings and addition of banking at one end (out of shot to the bottom of this pic) I guess that's the end of fixed wing ops from here? The helicopter strip remains, at the top of this shot:
Oh, thats a same to see an end of the fixed wing ops there, at least the helicopters will still be using it - oh to be a F1 driver....
Looks like they are constructing a new grandstand as well.
Adding this for comparison then/now.
They held the World Aerobatic Championship here last year (August..i think!) for a week along with an airshow on the final day. Obviously all the competitors landed here along with various display aircraft but i didn't attend myself so i couldn't tell you what runway or whereabouts on the site the event was held.
I have just added Silverstone to my website (http://www.atlantikwall.co.uk)
I only managed about half an hour here but I am sure there is more to see.
Great pics Richard. It looks like we got exactly the same results when myself and Wiganmick searched over the sites in the woods. Cheers for the directions by the way mate.
Did you find the memorial on your visit?? It's not exactly in the most obvious place. The security guy on the gate didn't even know there was one there!
I will be going for a tour around the Silverstone race circuit soon, would be nice to see some WW2 related features around. I have been before on race days but not been able to see anything WW2 related.
I don't think there is much left on the airfield site apart from the tower. I photographed the two memorials there the other week and if you get the chance to go over the road there are a few buildings and hut bases in the woods.
Richard Drew and Stevie could probably tell you more as they have spent more time there than me!
I will be staying in the area for a couple of days so may get to see other things airfield related be it at Silverstone or any others nearby if theres anything to see.
On the airfield site I see from Google that the bomb dump is used as a rally track, most is over the road toward and the woods. You need a plan with you and there is one in 'RAF Bomber Airfields of WW2' and the camp extended all the way even some across the A43. I doubt there is any more buildings extant but it will make a good walk. I will be pleased to know what you find. Let me know if you need the plan.
Agree, its a good walk in those woods and a bit to see.
Steps into history............
Some photos from Saturday 7th August 2010
Control Tower, now a Shower block for those camping at the circuit.
7th Aug 2010
Dispersal Hut, former Hangar now recladded? and a bit of where the old Runway was.
I did say on my website that there is a lot more to find. Is the control tower, hangar & runway accessible just to drive in and look around or do you have to enter certain areas? SS.
You can drive and see the Hangar and Dispersal hut if you go through the main entrance and turn left.
Thanks SS I will do that next time I go past.
Great pics Martin, at least it looks like they will be using the tower for some time :)
Thanks lets hope it dosent go in the redevelopment of the circuit its nice to see traces of the circuits past.
Great pics Southend Spitfire. Great to see pics from 'the other side of the fence'! I'll be back at Silverstone in a couple of weeks so hopefully should get to see the tower, Hangars etc for myself.
Thanks, i hope you find more things. I was told by my tour guide that they are planning a museum to open in 5 years time not just for the motor racing at Silverstone but its to include some of the aviation side too.
Not sure what to make of the tower!! It's a different 'look' i suppose :-)!!
Did you get a chance to check out any of the dispersed sites during your visit SS?
I didnt get much time but saw some buildings that looked airfield related. Didnt get much time to go through the woods.
Thanks, i hope you find more things.
Unfortunatly not SS! I managed to find everything you photoed on the 'live' side of the site but sadly i didn't see anything else except for a few tiny sections of peri track or possibly runway there.
Aerial view of Silverstone taken on 23 January 2012 by Nigel Bailey-Underwood
A couple of aerial photos of Silverstone sent to me by Nigel Bailey Underwood. I don't know the date they were took but as you can see there was a lot more surviving back then compared to now. -
I was passing by Silverstone on Friday 13 July and got the ok from the security guys to go and take a couple of phtoos of the tower:
A couple of aerial photos of Silverstone sent to me by Nigel Bailey Underwood. I don't know the date they were took but as you can see there was a lot more surviving back then compared to now.
Going on the track layout I would say it's between 1987 and 1990.
A few of my notes about Silverstone;
Next time you want the British Grand Prix at Silverstone you can be forgiven for not realising that the track follows the perimter track of former WWII airfield.
The airfield opened on 20 March 1943 and the following month No.17 OTU moved in equipped with Wellington bombers. The unit was predominantly a night time bomber training unit but it also undertook leaflet dropping and decoy missions.
No.17 OTU was the only unit based unit at Silverstone during its operational career and remained there until October 1948 when they moved to Swinderby. The airfield was sold in 1947 and in 1948 the first RAC Grand Prix was held there.
Very little flying now takes place at Silverstone and for a number of years a section of runway 06/24 was used for general aviation on track days, this hovever came to an end in around 2008 and the runway now forms part of the racing circuit. Helicopters are now the only form of aircraft that use the site and even then, its usually only on track days.
The Control Tower still stands and is now used for drivers changing rooms, other than that one of the five T2 hangars is still standing, though it is extensively re-clad and is now unrecognisable as a hangar. The layout of the airfield can be clearly seen from aerial or satellite views.
Heritage centre planned for the circuit, no mention of the heritage of the airfield though, hope this will not bethe case. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-22454055
A nice shot on Britain From Above.
Probably from a commissioned set to show the race track?
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