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Airmen's Cross near Stonehenge

A Grade II Listed Building in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1838 / 51°11'1"N

Longitude: -1.8578 / 1°51'28"W

OS Eastings: 410033

OS Northings: 142738

OS Grid: SU100427

Mapcode National: GBR 3YG.R41

Mapcode Global: VHB59.RH6V

Entry Name: Airmen's Cross near Stonehenge

Listing Date: 5 May 1995

Last Amended: 24 December 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1242829

English Heritage Legacy ID: 443794

Location: Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire, SP4

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Winterbourne Stoke St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Summary


A memorial erected in commemoration of two pioneer airmen who were killed in a flying accident near Stonehenge in 1912.

Description

A memorial erected in commemoration of two pioneer airmen who were killed in a flying accident near Stonehenge in 1912.

Materials: granite.

Description: a relief-carved cross set into a wheel-head with a short shaft and stepped plinth, inscribed with the words:

TO THE MEMORY/ OF/ CAPTAIN LORAINE/ AND STAFF-SERGEANT WILSON/ WHO WHILST FLYING ON DUTY MET WITH/ A FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR THIS SPOT/ ON JULY 5TH 1912./ ERECTED BY THEIR COMRADES


History

The Airmen's Cross near Stonehenge was erected in memory of two pioneer airmen, Captain Eustace Loraine and Staff Sergeant Richard Wilson, who were killed in a flying accident near Stonehenge in 1912. In 1911, shortly before the creation of the Royal Flying Corps (active from 1912 to 1918), military flying had begun in the area around Stonehenge, as the open grassland was particularly suitable for flying early aircraft. Loraine and Wilson were flying a Nieuport monoplane from Larkhill Airfield, north of Stonehenge, on a routine training flight on 5th July 1912, when, unaccountably, the aircraft crashed.

On 25 June 2012 the memorial was removed from its original location along the A303, and re-erected near the new Stonehenge visitors' centre in 2013. On 1 May 2014, the Airmen's Cross was re-dedicated by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Reasons for Listing

The Airmen's Cross near Stonehenge is listed at Grade II for the following principal reason:

Historic interest: a relatively rare memorial erected in 1912 to commemorate the historically significant event of a flying accident that killed two pioneer aviators shortly before the formation of Britain's first military flying corps.

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