RAF Wigtown was a World War II airfield which is also be referred to as Wigtown airfield, and Baldoon airfield, and was constructed on land to just over one mile (2 km) south of Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway.
The area was originally covered with anti-invasion defences at the start of World War II, to deny its use to enemy aircraft, but these were cleared once the site had been allocated for wartime use.
The airfield opened in 1941 as a training school, and hosted No 1 Air Observers School from September 13, 1941, to February 1, 1942, and operated in conjunction with a tracked target range near the coast to the southeast.
Initially constructed with grass runways, flooding of the land soon caused these to become unusable, and two concrete runways were installed during 1942.
Operations at the airfield came to an end in 1945 with the end of the war, and the field passed to Maintenance Command and was placed in care and maintenance, transferring to No 14 Maintenance Unit from July 1, 1946, to March 1, 1948, when the airfield was finally closed.
After 1948, the Wigtown airfield was given over to civilian use, although the runways have never been maintained since then, and can be seen to have deteriorated over the years.
Aerial photographs taken of the are during 1946 are reported to show seven large hangars, together with 24 areas of hard standing where blister hangars would have been located, 12 still being visible in the photographs, as were all the building of the accommodation camp to the west of Baldoon Hill.
The site was never cleared, and many of the original buildings still survive around the site, and although much of the land has reverted to agricultural use, aerial views of the land show that nearly all the perimeter and access roads remain visible, as do the roads to the various dispersal sites and installations belonging to the original airfield. As well as the roads, the concrete bases of many of the hangars and other buildings can still be seen on the ground.
Although reported to be due for demolition during 1983, for use a hardcore in a harbour project near Wigtown, the control tower still stands in 2008. The buildings of the gas decontamination centre located on the field still stand, as does the squash rackets court identified as belonging to the field. Located across the site are some fourteen air-raid shelters.
Solar farm plans
In 2015, Green Hedge Renewables drew up initial plans for a solar farm on the site, claiming it could generate up to 20 MW of renewable energy per annum from the 53.8 hectare (133 acre) site. The electricity would be fed into the National Grid.
The developers also indicated the farmland beneath the solar panels could be re-seeded, allowing sheep to continue to graze the land, thereby managing the growth of vegetation.
After 25 years, the development would be decommissioned, all equipment removed, and the site reinstated to its state prior to the development.
1 ⇑ Solar farm plan for Wigtown's disused Baldoon Airfield - BBC News Retrieved July 02, 2015.
Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-
- 41.00 Wigtown airfield R A F Wigtown
- 41.01 Military Camp Centred
- 41.02 Tracked Target Range
- 41.03 Control Tower
- 41.04 Gas Decontamination centre
- 41.05 Building (Squash Rackets Court)
- 41.06 Bomb Store a, 41.06 Bomb Store b, 41.06 Bomb Store c
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