Information for record number MWA8028:
RAF Church Lawford

Summary RAF Church Lawford, a Second World War airfield that was used for training instructors. The airfield was situated to the east of Dunsmore Heath.
What Is It?  
Type: Airfield, Pillbox
Period: Unknown
Where Is It?  
Parish: Church Lawford
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 44 73
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 Church Lawford was principally used as a training base for instructors.
2 Oblique air photo showing an unusual runway layout.
3 Pill boxes at airfield: two type 22 at SP45 72 and SP45 73 (latter demolished) and third ?Pickett-Hamilton type at SP45 73 over which aircraft could taxi.
4 Like neighbouring Bramcote it was planned as a bomber station, provided with three concrete runways covered with tarmac. Church Lawford was provided with ample hangarage, one large aircraft shed, six Bellmans and later ten Blisters. The airfield opened in Spring 1941, and just 18 days later, on 30th May, became home to the No 2 Central Flying School, training instructors. Detailed information.
5 The airfield opened in April 1941 and was used by the RAF for pilot training until it closed in 1955. A number of Beam Approach units flew from the airfield like when 1509 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) arrived flying Airspeed Oxfords from 6 June 1942 and 1533 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt), which again flew Oxfords from 27 October 1942 until April 1945. The first unit to use the airfield was 2 Central Flying School flying Oxfords and Avro Tutors from 15 June 1941 until 13 January 1942 when it was renamed 1 Flying Instructors School (FIS) flying Oxfords and Tutors carried on until October 1942. The unit was again renamed to No.18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit ((P) AFU) flying Oxfords and Boulton Paul Defiants on 27 October 1942 and operated until April 1945. Again the name was changed to No. 20 Flying Training School (FTS) flying Harvards from 3 April 1945 using RAF Snitterfield as a relief landing ground (RLG) until March 1948. A further two flying Schools used the airfield after the end of the Second World War. The first was No 20 Service Flying Training School flying Harvard's using RAF Snitterfield as a RLG until 1947, which like the wartime units at the airfield was renamed No 2 Flying Training School starting on 23 July 1947 and operating until 6 April 1948. A small number of other units was present at RAF Church Lawford during its lifetime such as No 68 Maintenance Unit which operated from 1 December 1954 until 27 March 1955 and a sub-site of No 68 Maintenance Unit between 27 March 1955 and 30 November 1956.

Source No: 2
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: Aerial Photograph
Author/originator: Unknown
Date: 1942
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Fifty years of changing land use
Author/originator: Freeman, H
Date: 1989
Page Number:
Source No: 5
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Premises, Sites etc. within 30 miles of Harrington Museum used for Military Purposes.
Author/originator: John Brace
Date: Before 2017.
Page Number:
Source No:
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Premises, Sites etc. within 30 miles of Harrington Museum used for Military Purposes.
Author/originator: John Brace
Date: Before 2017.
Page Number:
Source No: 4
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Warwickshire Airfields in the Second World War
Author/originator: Smith G
Date: 2004
Page Number:
Source No: 3
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Site Visit Notes
Author/originator: Brace, J
Date: 1998
Page Number:
Grass runway at RAF Church Lawford near Rugby
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Click here for larger image  
A Second World War Airfield at Church Lawford
Copyright: WA Baker
Date: 1962
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
technique Aerial Photograph Aerial photographs are taken during an aerial survey, which involves looking at the ground from above. It is usually easier to see cropmarks and earthworks when they are viewed from above. Aerial photographs help archaeologists to record what they see and to identify new sites. There are two kinds of aerial photographs; oblique and vertical. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument TRAINING BASE * A military base used for training service personnel. back
monument SCHOOL * An establishment in which people, usually children, are taught. back
monument RUNWAY * A hard level roadway or other surface from which aircraft take off and land. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument MUSEUM * A building, group of buildings or space within a building, where objects of value such as works of art, antiquities, scientific specimens, or other artefacts are housed and displayed. back
monument AIRCRAFT * An aircraft, either whole or in part. Aircraft often survive as commemorative monuments, gate guardians or crash sites. back
monument SHED * A slight structure built for shelter or storage, or for use as a workshop, either attached as a lean-to to a permanent building or separate. Use more specific type where known. back
monument PILLBOX * An often squat building with thick, loopholed walls and a flat roof, designed to accommodate a variety of weapons, usually strategically positioned to cover a vulnerable point in a defensive system. Many were built to standardized designs. back
monument AIRFIELD * An area or site used for the landing and take-off of aircraft, often including associated buildings, equipment and other installations. back
monument SPRING * A point where water issues naturally from the rock or soil onto the ground or into a body of surface water. back
monument TRAINING SCHOOL * A school where specialist skills, relating to a particular subject, are taught. Use specific type where known. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record