Crossways post office and general store
Crossways shown within Dorset
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Crossways is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It lies within the West Dorset administrative district, 6 miles (9.7 km) east of the county town Dorchester. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 2,267.
In the early 1930s Crossways was a hamlet of scattered bungalows and cottages. At that time the Air Ministry acquired local heath and farmland to build an airfield. This airfield was completed in 1937 and was known briefly as RAF Woodsford, although it was renamed RAF Warmwell a year later. RAF Warmwell played an important part in World War II, being a major fighter base during the Battle of Britain, and offering fighter protection for Portland Naval Base and other important south coast areas.
During the following years, the runways and operational areas disappeared as a result of the extraction of valuable sand and gravel by mineral companies, however the influence of the airfield can still be seen today. The village hall used to have a multi-functional role, being used by the airmen for recreational use - cinema, gymnasium and NAFFI - but also was used on occasions as a morgue. It is in use constantly to this day. Much of the present village of Crossways is built on the eastern part of the former airfield site.
In the early 1970s the local government authority for the area decided to build blocks of flats, houses and bungalows at Crossways to provide much-needed accommodation for displaced families in the area, and to fulfil a growing need for housing at the time. This resulted in a very rapid expansion in the size of the community. There is a thriving business park nearby and a new school opened in September 2006.
- "Area: Crossways (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
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