View Full Version : Barnsley Park,near Cirencester

21-05-2010, 18:03
Im wondering if anyone can give any info on RAF Barnsley Park.
I work around it quite regularly and have a few photos and I know the brief outline of a description :a grass landing ground for the storage of surplus Hurricanes etc, but just wondered if anyone had anything more interesting!
I was told that a couple of American bombers flew in but couldnt take off again! if this isnt an urban legend then why didnt they go to one of the many larger aerodromes in the area!
anyway, a couple of pics

the Guard house (now a cottage)


possible fuel bowser with replacement tank


tractor shed


Paul Francis
21-05-2010, 18:17
And to think I very nearly went here a few weeks ago to see that building. It is in fact the Ministry of Aircraft Production office / watch office (not the guard room) and I am very pleased that its extant.

21-05-2010, 18:46
yes, its well looked after,and lived in,thats why I didnt want to get closer,actually I was up there yesterday and the bowser has dissapeared!

26-05-2010, 16:32
I went past Barnsley Park a couple of weeks ago and took a a couple of pictures of said same tractor shed. But has/can anyone confirm that's what it was?

Reason for asking is that the main landing area was on the other side of the road and while the field the shed is in is very wide and flat it's a bit bloody small for landing being only 400yds long. Maybe smaller fighters could of got in but not the big stuff and I can't see how they would of moved them across the road to store stuff in the field. I also noted that there was once another building near that shed and two more on the western side as well.

The bungalow I've known of for years but not seen since the 80's. As pointed out it's a private house now and quite a few new "posh" houses have been built near it. I got the impression their not the type to take kindly to airfield researchers photographing their houses so left it be!

The base and hard standing of the Robin hangar is still in situ although completely obscured by trees now :(

26-05-2010, 17:36
so far as im aware there are two "posh" houses nearby,both have been there a lot longer than the airfield,I used to work for the folk that live in montreal barn whose garden and land borders the airfield.
Like OneEighthBit has already said there could be some debate as to wether it is a tractor shed or not,it is of the era and obviously built with maycrete but it doesnt make much sense it being on the other side of the road.
its interesting to work out the orientation of the landing strip because to be parallel to the field borders one end of the strip would dissapear down a deep dell hole!
ive spoke to Hendon but because it was only a grass storage facility there isnt a period map for it.
i know quite a few people that worked/lived in the area during the war years so i think a few more questions need to be asked!

airfields man
26-05-2010, 17:49
Every wednesday, likewise today after leaving the Gloucester area I then go to Cirencester.Then on to Burford taking the B4425 through Barnsley on my way. Didn't even know of anything at Barnsley.

27-05-2010, 09:13
Ricasso, maybe my definition of "Posh" is different to yours :) If you follow the road up past the office bungalow across their field there's a new house that's been build where a far once stood. It was built sometime after 1998 which is when I left the UK.

I've attached a aerial photo of the SLG. The date is 1945-1950ish so some return to agriculture is present but it's largely intact. Couple of things to note is that the long landing area is about 1200yds long and the fields adjoining it have hair their hedgerows grubbed up to create the strip and possible to allow spaces for aircraft to be pulled over for storage. Certainly the field the hangar stands in looks like a good candidate for storage.

As you can see the field with the "shed" is on the other side of the road and I can see any obvious way you'd get an aircraft over there as there doesn't appear to be any sizeable gap. That said, there do appear to be more buildings in that field.

27-05-2010, 19:02
many thanks for posting the thumbnail OEB,it cleared up quite a few questions I had,the people i worked for own the barn which is almost parallel to the watch office,their drive being a continuation of the airfield access road.
Sorry,wasn't trying to be flippant,i just don't recall the property your referring to, but your right,the people there do guard their privacy,the property's around there are regularly targeted by thieves etc
if your still in this country perhaps we could meet somtime,seems like we know and appreciate the same locations!

30-05-2010, 10:07
Its not always easy to work out landing grounds from ground level,I used to glide out of Enstone in the early 90's and used to go over the X -roads at Barton Abbey/Hopcroft Holt.
It was only from the air that I could work out how they flew quite large a/c into there - presumably landing upslope.
There were definitely minor buildings on the other (west ?) side of the road,and also you could see where the hedges had been removed to get the storage a/c off the field - over the road into woods I also assumed.

30-05-2010, 10:37
isnt Barton Abbey/Hopcroft holt in Oxfordshire? are we talking about the same Barnsley park? near Bibury?

30-05-2010, 12:10
isnt Barton Abbey/Hopcroft holt in Oxfordshire? are we talking about the same Barnsley park? near Bibury?

Yes it was just a general remark about SLG's/minor airfields,gaps in the hedges tell stories LOL

30-05-2010, 15:32
I agree entirely,there the sort of clues to look for,its good fun testing your detective skills with old airfields!

07-08-2012, 18:54
David Smith mentions Barnsley Wold (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.75890462810211&lon=-1.905694129212898&gz=15&oz=8&gt=1) under 'The airfields that never were' in 'Britain's Military Airfields'.
as 'Planned USAAF Transport or Observation base, but not built.'. Again a battle between the Air Ministry and the MAP who had Barnsley Park (22SLG).

love to iron
31-07-2013, 11:42
I am fascinated by old air fields, the was also one at ablington, macaroni woods

01-08-2013, 04:34
John Bradshaw was involved in acquiring grass landing strips for these MU's between West London & Cirencester. Somewhere in the official records you should be able to find the specific MU number allocated to each airfield. They were also used to Strip & Crate a/c parts when they were needed to air dropped or shipped to special locations.

01-08-2013, 10:32
David Smith mentions Barnsley Wold (http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.75890462810211&lon=-1.905694129212898&gz=15&oz=8>=1) under 'The airfields that never were' in 'Britain's Military Airfields'.
as 'Planned USAAF Transport or Observation base, but not built.'. Again a battle between the Air Ministry and the MAP who had Barnsley Park (22SLG).

The fields that make up Barnsley Wold were I believed used as overspill for Barnsley Park as a local told me he'd seen aircraft being towed across the road. There's also what appears to be a tractor shed in the fields. Certainly those fields would of been just about large enough to get a small single prop aircraft in no trouble at all or a lightly loaded transport.

I think the upshot was that the USAAF used Chedworth instead for while which isn't too far away instead.