History in Structure

Building 12 (Candidate's Club, Former Sergeant's' Mess), West Camp

A Grade II Listed Building in Darwin, London

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 51.3284 / 51°19'42"N

Longitude: 0.0249 / 0°1'29"E

OS Eastings: 541175

OS Northings: 160753

OS Grid: TQ411607

Mapcode National: GBR M6.4Y5

Mapcode Global: VHHP9.DW01

Plus Code: 9F3282HF+8X

Entry Name: Building 12 (Candidate's Club, Former Sergeant's' Mess), West Camp

Listing Date: 1 December 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391606

English Heritage Legacy ID: 495998

ID on this website: 101391606

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

Find accommodation in



Former RAF Biggin Hill, Westerham
(East side)
Building 12 (Candidate's Club, Former Sergeant's' Mess), West Camp


Sergeants' Mess. 1932. By the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. Drawing No 191/24 and 2897/35. Stretcher bond cavity red brick walls, slate roof on timber trusses.

PLAN: A single-storey building with entrance off-centre, right, and with gabled wing projecting forward to right. The layout had the billiard room to the right of the entrance and the mess, with external eaves stack, to the left; kitchen and services to rear.

EXTERIOR: Windows are generally timber-bar sashes to stone sills and with brick voussoir heads. On the S, entrance front, the projecting gable has a 8:12:8-pane triple sash to flat voussoir heads, under a flush semicircular arch containing a flush tympanum in herring-bone brickwork. Above these is a small ventilation slit, then the shouldered gable with stone copings. The inner returns have a small sash, then the set-back long front has a central square bay with tall 8:12:8-pane sash to brick mullions, and a small 8-pane on the returns, the bay taken up to a coped parapet above eaves level. To its left is the external eaves stack, taken up to a bold brick capping, flanked by tall 8-pane sashes, and with two 12-pane sashes to left. To the right is a pair of panelled doors, the top panel glazed, in a cast stone heavy pilaster surround with simple architrave flat cornice, again flanked by tall sashes.

The left return has 12-pane sashes, and the rear gable is as to the front; the right return has a part-hipped outer end under a louvred half-gable, then a lower, set-back wing to a hipped end, connected to a wall bounding the service yard, and a hipped wing to rear left. Small 1970s additional bay to left of front.

INTERIOR: not inspected.

HISTORY: This sergeants' mess, constructed to designs established during the post-1923 expansion of the RAF, has been externally little-altered since the Second World War and relates to a rank of airmen that played a key role in military aviation in 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.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.