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image for Airport item typeStow Maries Great War Aerodrome

Airfield

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome

See our special events

Address

Hackman's Lane,
Purleigh,
Essex,
CM3 6RJ

Details

The site has significant natural heritage value and is in Natural England’s Higher Level Environmental Stewardship scheme. Ponds and a meadow have been created and the land supports declining farmland species such as brown hare, corn bunting, yellowhammer and a variety of owls, including barn owls and wintering short-eared owls.

Originally opened in 1916 as home to B Flight of No 37(HD) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, the aerodrome saw the birth of the Air Defence of Great Britain in response to the first raids by Zeppelins and Gotha bombers on London and the South East. It played a key role in the Battle for Britain (the first London Blitz) the following year. It was at Stow Maries that No 37 Squadron transitioned from the Royal Flying Corps to the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. It continued in its dedicated role until Spring 1919 – when the RAF closed its doors forever.

The site reverted to Flambirds Farm and its age-old farming role. The existing buildings were repurposed or converted to residential and agricultural use and the airfield turned over to pasture.

Following its re-discovery by a private concern, the site was designated a conservation area in 2009 and in 2012 all 24 surviving buildings were listed Grade II*. Because of the site’s condition and importance, it was included on the English Heritage “Buildings at Risk Register” in the same year.

Our latest success story is the 37 Squadron Museum, housed in the B Flight Offices.
Led by the same award winning team as our Engine Workshop Museum, this amazing permanent exhibition tells the most important stories of all – that of the people that made the exciting and terrifying journey from the beginnings of flight at Stow Maries, through the early war and formation of the Royal Air Force through to the closure of Stow Maries in 1919. Featuring objects, displays and interactives, this family museum is a true tribute to the vital work done here – poignantly opening in the centenary year of the first Operational missions at Stow Maries, making it even more significant.


A shop, all run by volunteers, sells novel gifts and goods that spark interest and nostalgia. Our wonderfully popular museum tells the story of the site, and is the first of three planned for Stow Maries. Alongside a bustling flying events program, the site is in talks with regional and national funders with a view to establishing learning and education programs for all manner of topics – including, but nor restricted to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Conservation and Heritage Construction – as well as developing apprenticeships and Museum Outreach programs.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEnglish Heritage PropertyFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site light refreshmentsPublic toiletsAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Children welcomeDisabled accessDogs acceptedGuided tours for individualsGuided tours for groupsSmoking not allowed

Winner of Maldon District Council Conservation and Design Award 2010.

Opening details

Open 10-5pm, last entry 4pm

Prices

£8 per adult, £6 concessions, Various group rates, children free with accompanying adults. Open March – October every day except Tuesdays

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

Location

Directions

Plan route to Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: TL 819001  Lat: 51.67021 Long: 0.62912

By Road:
A12 Chelmsford bypass. Take A414 turnoff signposted Danbury. Travel through Danbury to Oak Corner roundabout, travel straight over. Take 1st turning right and travel through Cock Clarks Village. The aerodrome entrance is on the right approx one mile outside the village.

Parking: free

Facilities

  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • English Heritage PropertyEnglish Heritage Property
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted
  • Guided tours for individualsGuided tours for individuals
  • Guided tours for groupsGuided tours for groups
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed

Winner of Maldon District Council Conservation and Design Award 2010.