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Building 15, Hawkinge Block, West Camp

A Grade II Listed Building in Darwin, London

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Latitude: 51.3284 / 51°19'42"N

Longitude: 0.0244 / 0°1'27"E

OS Eastings: 541140

OS Northings: 160760

OS Grid: TQ411607

Mapcode National: GBR M6.4TV

Mapcode Global: VHHP9.CWR0

Plus Code: 9F3282HF+9Q

Entry Name: Building 15, Hawkinge Block, West Camp

Listing Date: 1 December 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391604

English Heritage Legacy ID: 495996

ID on this website: 101391604

Location: Leaves Green, Bromley, London, TN16

County: London

District: Bromley

Electoral Ward/Division: Darwin

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bromley

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Biggin Hill St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Tagged with: Building

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785/0/10108 A233
01-DEC-05 Former RAF Biggin Hill, Westerham
(East side)
Building 15, Hawkinge Block, West Camp

Barrack block. Dated 1934. By the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. Dark red brickwork in stretcher bond, hipped (originally slate) concrete tile roof.

PLAN: Dormitory rooms on each side of central entrance and staircase.

EXTERIOR: Single-storey. Three 12-pane sashes each side of central entrance, flanking a central pair of 3-panel doors in a cast stone heavy pilaster surround with moulded flat cornice Windows set to brick voussoirs, and with stooled sills. Roofs are all slightly swept to the box eaves with deep soffits. Six sashes to rear elevation. Smaller 8-pane sash to small service annexe to left of front.

INTERIOR: retains original doors and joinery.

HISTORY: This barracks block, constructed to designs established during the post-1923 expansion of the RAF, has been externally little-altered since the Second World War.

Biggin Hill acquired a reputation as the most famous fighter station in the world, primarily through its associations with the Battle of Britain, the first time in history that a nation had retained its freedom and independence through air power. It was developed as a key fighter station in the inter-war period, playing a critical role in the development of the air defence system - based on radar - that played a critical role in the Second World War. Of all the sites which became involved in The Battle of Britain, none have greater resonance in the popular imagination than those of the sector airfields within these Groups which bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe onslaught and, in Churchill's words, 'on whose organisation and combination the whole fighting power of our Air Force at this moment depended'. It was 11 Group, commanded by Air Vice Marshall Keith Park from his underground headquarters at RAF Uxbridge, which occupied the front line in this battle, with its 'nerve centre' sector stations at Northolt, North Weald, Biggin Hill, Tangmere, Debden and Hornchurch taking some of the most sustained attacks of the battle, especially between 24 August and 6 September when these airfields and later aircraft factories became the Luftwaffe's prime targets.

For further details of the history of the site, see advice and description for Station Headquarters.

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