RAF Blakehill Farm

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RAF Blakehill Farm

Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Douglas Dakotas of No. 233 Squadron RAF lined up on the perimeter track at Blakehill Farm, Wiltshire, for an exercise with the 6th Airborne Division, 20 April 1944. CH12833.jpg
Dakotas of No. 233 Squadron RAF lined up on the perimeter track at RAF Blakehill Farm, for an exercise with the 6th Airborne Division, 20 April 1944
Airport typeMilitary
LocationCricklade, Wiltshire
In use1944–1952
OccupantsRoyal Air Force
Coordinates51°37′19″N 1°53′17″W / 51.622°N 1.888°W / 51.622; -1.888Coordinates: 51°37′19″N 1°53′17″W / 51.622°N 1.888°W / 51.622; -1.888
RAF Blakehill Farm is located in Wiltshire
RAF Blakehill Farm
RAF Blakehill Farm
Location within Wiltshire
Aerial photograph of RAF Blakehill Farm, 17 July 1943. The technical and barrack sites are to the right (east) of the airfield.

RAF Blakehill Farm was an RAF airfield southwest of Cricklade in Wiltshire, England, operational between 1944 and 1952.


The station was originally allocated to the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force but not used.[1] It opened in 1944 and was home for transport aircraft of No. 46 Group Transport Command. In 1948 the airfield was a satellite of RAF South Cerney, and was used by training aircraft until the airfield closed in 1952 and was returned to agricultural use. The site is now a Wiltshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve.[2]

Units and aircraft[edit]

Unit Dates Aircraft Variant Notes
No. 233 Squadron RAF 1944-1945 Douglas Dakota
No. 271 Squadron RAF 1944-1945 Douglas Dakota Detachment from RAF Down Ampney
No. 437 Squadron RCAF 1944-1945 Douglas Dakota
No. 575 Squadron RAF 1945-1946 Douglas Dakota
No.22 Heavy Glider
Conversion Unit RAF
1945 Waco Hadrian

The following units were here at some point:[3]

Post-war intelligence role[edit]

After the Second World War, GCHQ set up an "experimental radio station", a top secret research facility, on the site. It consisted of huge communications masts arranged in mysterious patterns in the middle of the old airfield. The site was still active in some capacity until the mid-1990s and traces of the former aerial mast bases can still be seen on satellite photographs. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Museum in Britain - Blakehill Farm
  2. ^ "Blakehill Farm including Stoke Common Meadow, Cricklade". Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Blakehill Farm (Cricklade)". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ http://www.gearthhacks.com/dlfile27075/GCHQ-Blakehill-Farm.htm
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF (Retd) (1988). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin (2007). RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]