A near-complete example of a First World War aerodrome, untouched and largely forgotten for 60 years, is to be revived and turned into a major visitor attraction thanks to £4.3 million* from the National Lottery.
Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome was established by the Royal Flying Corp (RFC) in 1916 and played a pivotal role in defending London and the British mainland from German Zeppelins and Gotha bombers.
Following the end of the First World War, the site reverted to agricultural use, leaving behind a unique collection of historic buildings still in their original form. Stow Maries fell increasingly into disrepair and was largely forgotten until the late 1970s when local historians and military aviation enthusiasts recognised its importance.
The 24 surviving structures and airfield remain relatively unaltered since the aerodrome was taken out of service in March 1919. Since 2015, however, one-by-one the buildings have started to be restored. Now, a major conservation project, backed by £4.3 million* from the National Lottery will put Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, near Maldon in Essex, firmly on the map as a major UK visitor attraction