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Latitude: 52.9027 / 52°54'9"N
Longitude: -0.6107 / 0°36'38"W
OS Eastings: 493541
OS Northings: 334822
OS Grid: SK935348
Mapcode National: GBR DQC.2F7
Mapcode Global: WHGKP.L9DK
Entry Name: Officers' Mess, Former RAF Spitalgate
Listing Date: 1 December 2005
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1391561
English Heritage Legacy ID: 495886
Location: Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without, South Kesteven, Lincolnshire, NG31
District: South Kesteven
Civil Parish: Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without
Built-Up Area: Grantham
Traditional County: Lincolnshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire
LONDONTHORPE AND HARROWBY WITHOUT
223/0/10002 PRINCE WILLIAM OF GLOUCESTER BARRACKS
01-DEC-05 Officers' Mess, former RAF Spitalgate
Officers' mess. Dated 1927, by the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. English bond brick with Welsh slate roof and brick stacks.
PLAN: rectangular main block with ground-floor mess rooms and rear dining room is attached by link corridors on each side to 'Y-plan' accommodation blocks.
EXTERIOR: All in 2 storeys. Symmetrical 11-window front of main block has central double-leaf doors with overlight and bracketed hood. Steel 2-light casements set in mullioned and transomed frames to stone sills, with alternating canted bay windows to ground floor. Paired stacks with arched links to hipped return elevations, and plain parallel range to rear of main block. Links have central doorway flanked by 3-light steel casements. Each link connects to the 3-window elevation of a hipped block with similar 2-light casements. This is then attached by single-bay 2-storey link to each of the accommodation blocks, which have end stacks to hipped roofs and which present symmetrical side elevations with similar fenestration and 3-light windows to flat roofed dormers: the outer elevations present 5-window facades with central tripartite window flanked by full-height canted bay windows, and the inner elevations present 9-window elevations with broad pilasters flanking central entrance bay with broad bracketed canopy over half-glazed door with flanking lights.
INTERIOR: original joinery with panelled doors throughout. Recreational and mess rooms have pilasters to moulded cornicing and panelled ceilings. Dog-leg stairs with turned balusters.
HISTORY: The mess building, designed in 1924-5, is an impressive, complete and uniquely distinctive example illustrating the early formulation of planning for the dispersal of RAF buildings from aerial attack, with splayed accommodation wings flanking the main mess block. Stations of special function - other examples including Henlow and Cranwell - were, prior to 1934, given officers' mess buildings of individual design, in contrast to the more standardised designs associated with fighter and bomber stations. Opened as a training station in 1917, Spitalgate was one of the few retained for use by the RAF after 1919. 3 Flight Training School moved here from Scopwick in April 1922, the remainder of the 1920s seeing intensive use of the site. After a brief period as a bomber station it became a training station until its absorption as an operational and then training base into 5 Group, Bomber Command. It was completely rebuilt between 1925-7.
(Plans and elevations in National Monuments Record, BHM/647-57)
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