Site Records

Site Name: Faldingworth (92 Maintenance Unit) Nuclear Bomb Store

OS Grid Ref: TF027850

Sub Brit site visit 28th October 2003

[Source: Nick Catford]

Faldingworth also acted as the operational store for RAF Scampton and two hundred yards to the east and outside the inner compound is a Type D1 mounded preparation building where nuclear weapons were assembled before being taken to the stores; it could hold two Blue Danube bombs. The building consists of a rectangular reinforced concrete blockhouse mounded over with soil and grassed. The original roller shutters have now been replaced with a conventional steel hinged door. The bunker is now also used for secure storage.

Photo:The D1 nuclear preparation building for RAF Scampton
Photo by Nick Catford

Between the D1 building and the inner compound one of the original watch towers has been retained and preserved; originally there were 22 similar towers around the site. Other original buildings on the site include the MT shed, fire station and a fuel store, these were once outside the outer compound at the original RAF entrance to the site.

After 1969, following the withdrawal of free falling nuclear bombs, Faldingworth became obsolete closing in 1972 when the site was no longer required by the RAF. It was eventually acquired by BMARC and OERLIKON weapons manufacturers (subsequently owned by Royal Ordnance, a division of British Aerospace) who occupied the site as a test and production facility. Several early structures survive from this period including a test building, divided into five bays, mounded over and grassed. There is a mounded blast wall to protect the entrance to the bays. Alongside there is a brick decontamination block with separate entrances for men and women; a kitchen and canteen also stands nearby.

Photo:One of the revetted high explosive magazines
Photo by Nick Catford

During this period the site was also used as a conventional high explosive store. 16 magazines were provided for this purpose and these are located in the north west corner of the site. Each consists of a revetted compound with grassed earth banks laid out in two lines of 6 magazines and two lines of 2, accessed from two spine roads. Within each compound there is a reinforced concrete magazine; these are still used for secure storage.

Many new buildings were constructed in 1984 and the present guardhouse dates from this period. Royal Ordnance used Faldingworth for secure armament storage and experimentation until 1996 when it was put up for sale.

It was eventually sold to Unibay, a secure storage company although many of the buildings were leased back to the Royal Ordnance who remained as sitting tenants; their present use of the site is outside the parameters of this report. The site was once again sold in autumn 2003 although Royal Ordnance remains in residence. Other buildings are now leased to various companies for secure storage. it is also used for a range of other purposes, including firing range and explosive testing, research and development, and film production. The site is manned, heavily guarded and patrolled 24 hours a day and remains in a very well maintained condition with all grass revetments being regularly mown.

In 1999 the main runway remained intact and a single B1 hangar also survived. The major area of the airfield, some 470 acres, was sold for agricultural use in 1998.

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[Source: Nick Catford]

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