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 the Visitor Centre. There are many buildings still to save, but you can explore most of the wartime hospital complex, including the new museum, before you enter the 18th century parkland.

The RAF Defford Museum is now open

Pottery shards tell a story © NT

Pottery shards tell a story

The repair of another part of RAF Defford's sick quarter buildings is now complete and the new museum dedicated to the airbase's history is now open for you to explore. Normal admission applies.

The RAF Defford Museum is now open

Open to visitors © NT

Open to visitors

The repair of another part of RAF Defford's sick quarter buildings is now complete and the new museum dedicated to the airbase's history is now open for you to explore. Normal admission applies.

The RAF Defford Museum is now open

All kinds of emotive artefacts are on display at the museum. © NT

All kinds of emotive artefacts are on display at the museum.

The repair of another part of RAF Defford's sick quarter buildings is now complete and the new museum dedicated to the airbase's history is now open for you to explore. Normal admission applies.

We need you!

So we can open the new RAF Defford Museum every day for our visitors, we really need extra pairs of hands from willing and enthusiastic volunteers.

You don't have to be an expert, just friendly and willing to learn about RAF Defford.

What's at our visitor centre

  • RAF Defford Museum
  • 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

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.

Step back in time with a walk

Take a walk around some of the remains of a secret airbase

Pick up a walks booklet for £1 that will lead you on a 2.8 mile walk to discover the ruins of the secret RAF Defford airbase.

Look out for the ruined wartime buildings close to the visitor centre which are awaiting their restoration.

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