RAF Defford

Explore our restored wartime buildings 

Explore our restored wartime buildings

The secret airbase that won the War

The secret World War II airbase of RAF Defford was once Croome’s closest neighbour in the 1940s, it even used part of the historic parkland to serve over 2,000 service personnel and scientists who tested radar to meet new enemy threats. The radar development at Defford revolutionised British aircraft, it allowed Britain's Bomber Command to locate its targets and Coastal Command to destroy U-boats in the North Atlantic during the second world war. By the 21st century the airbase and its associated buildings had either been destroyed or were in ruins. In 2007 we restored the country's only remaining Second World War hospital which is now our Visitor Centre. We have many buildings still to save, but you can explore most of the wartime hospital complex before you enter the 18th century parkland.

Step back in time

Pick up a walks booklet for £1 that leads you on a 2.8 mile walk to discover the ruins of RAF Defford. Join one of the team from the Defford Airfield Heritage Group every Sunday for a guided tour of the old site too.

A new RAF museum takes shape

Another wartime building saved from dereliction

Another wartime building saved from dereliction

Work is taking place to restore another of RAF Defford's sick quarter buildings, which is part of our visitor centre complex. We're planning to turn it into a museum about RAF Defford in late 2014. We'll keep you posted on the progress.

What's at our visitor centre

  • 1940s style restaurant called our Canteen
  • 1940s tea car serving drinks and snacks on busy days
  • The shop is beyond visitor reception
  • Dig For Victory vegetable plot and sales (when available)
  • Picnic tables and restaurant outdoor seating area
  • Outdoor bicycle racks
  • Nature corridor with our outdoor hub
  • Toilets including universal access, all with baby change

Bertha the tea car has landed

With Defford Airfield Heritage Group's help, we now have an original 1940s tea car serving drinks and snacks on busy days and every Sunday. We've called her Bertha, after the nickname written on her side.

Defford Airfield Heritage Group

Committed to recording, researching and preserving the history of Defford Airfield, the DAHG is an official National Trust supporter group. We work closely with the team on many projects at Croome.