Historic Landscape Characterisation

Ardudwy - Area 11 Royal Aerospace Establishment, Llanbedr (PRN 18244)


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 100017916, 2005

Historic background

There was an enormous expansion of the RAF during World War II as a result of which many new airfields were required. As a matter of policy, navigation and air gunnery training schools were to be located in north-western Britain which was regarded as relatively safe. Thus the county of Gwynedd came under close scrutiny of surveyors looking for potential sites, and seven locations were chosen for new airfields, the most southern of which, sandwiched between the mountain and sea, was on the coastal flats below Llanbedr.

It acted under the control of Valley as a forward airfield for day operations against enemy raiders in the local sea areas. It was also connected with a training school which continued throughout the war with little change. It was also later used as base for rather unglamorous army co-operation units, towing targets for artillery practice.

By 1945, the airfield was operating at a much-reduced level, and during the 1950s Llanbedr became an outstation for Royal Aerospace Establishment, Farnborough, where research into pilotless target drones was carried out. Only it and Valley continued to be used by the RAF.

Key historic landscape characteristics

World War II and later RAF airfield with infrastructure

The basic layout of the present-day airfield is remarkably much as it was in the 1940s, except that of course it has been developed into a modern airfield with much new building having taken place, especially in the 1980s (including some 'industrial-type' units). However, many of the original hangars and wooden buildings remain and are in good condition, and the whole has an almost-unchanged atmosphere.


Back to Ardudwy Landscape Character Map



Visit our social network sites
Ymwelwch a'n safleoedd rhwydwaith cymdeithasol