RNAY Wroughton


Just been down to see the outlaws who live in Swindon, thought I would go an have a look at the site of the old airfield and hosiptal.

I used to visit there th in 80's and 90's remenber going down a long rodad with the hospital on the right hand side came to a junction in the road at the bottom the road to the right went to the viallage of Wroughton, turt left and it took you to the main gate of the airfield.

At this junction there used to be a fire station and a large hanger that was used by the Sea Cadets as a training school - set up by a Sea Cadet Officer named Cyril Bartlett then taken over by an ex CPTI named Jim Gibson.

Unfortunately all I could find is the airfield - still a massive place - and sign post for the Science Museum, this if I remember right could have been the old main gate to the aire field but I am not sure.

Asked number of people what had happend to the old Ricess Alexandra's old RAF hospi6tal but only got blank looks what has happend to the hospital - is ther any military presence at the airfield at all, the gates were closed and no signs of life when I arrived.

I seem to remeber the Naval Recruiting staff had one of the hangers for storage of their gear and lorries etc.

Did not fancy trying to get in as I say the place is huge and if still used bu the military who knows what would have happened.
The hospital is no more I believe - probably a housing estate by now with gorgeous views. If you'd gone down the hill into Wroughton and turned right at the Three Tuns Pub Roundabout it would have taken you back up towards the old hospital.

I went up there a couple of years ago for a training exercise and we used the old hospital site and some of the buildings and its trashed, or it was then anyway.


War Hero
Director Naval Recruiting had a big hangar there. The FAA Exhibition team had to go there once a year for an inspection with them, before we all went out on the road for the season.
FAA came under FONAC, not DNR.


Yeh I rember DNR having a place there but last time I was there the place was very much an active hospital. - Do the SCC still have the hanger theer as a training school


If there is still a military presence it will be DNR.

The hospital has been knocked down, replaced with a housing estate, and I am told a top notch conference centre.

Going further down the “concrete road†as it was locally referred to; the married quarters on the right are now private housing.

At the end, the airfield is a sad reflection of its former glory. The fire station has been bulldozed with the Sea Cadet hangar now being used by a go carting company.

The airfield has been used for film locations, with various adverts being shot there. In the 70’s they filmed some of “Target†detective series there with Patrick Mower and since then, the airfield scenes in the BBC series “Invasion†Oh and the outdoor scenes from another BBC comedy series about the AA.

The rest of the airfield is pretty much owned by the Science museum. They have refurbished the old hangars and have built a new one. Alan Titchmarsh was up there recently to film an Antiques road show type of program.

Main site is like a scene from an old ghost town in a western, at one time they had a full flying pattern with most of the helicopters from the 3 services. Now nothing.

The odd company uses the workshop facilities. The officer’s mess and admin block has gone, and I often wondered how the people fared both military and civilian when they left


DNR Central Workshop still operates from the hangars at the bottom of the airfield outside the fence which now encloses the Science Museum area, to reach the DNR site you go down the hill from where the hospital used to be, now conference centre and housing, past the entrance to the old RNAY Wroughton main site, turn right and along the old peri track, DNR are on the left in a fenced compound. If you go past DNR and down the hill there are 3 hangars down in the dip, 2 of which are used by a storage company, this was the case on my last visit in March to DNR.


If you fancy a good day out in the summer, have a look a at:-


The airfield is opened for a few weekends in summer for things like model aircraft flying, car/motor cycle rallies etc. The Science Museum open their hangars which are full of the stuff which is too big to display in London. The two hangars with aircraft in are particularly good.

The closure of the RAF hospital was a disaster for the surrounding area. When they decided to build a new NHS hospital for Swindon they said it would have the same number of beds as the old one - completely ignoring the fact that Wroughton took a lot of the load. Now we have a wonderful new hospital, with some of the longest waiting lists in the country !


I live just outside Wroughton (Wanborough) to be in fact, If your interested there is a Swindon Duathlon taking place at Wroughton airfield on Sunday 1st April, visit www.triferiss.com, not really what where talking about i know but just thought i would let everyone know :)

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