Historic Building Details


HB Ref No:
HB20/14/029


Extent of Listing:
Control Tower


Date of Construction:
1940 - 1959


Address :
Former Control Tower Langford Lodge Airfield 97 Largy Road Crumlin Co Antrim


Townland:
Gartree






Survey 2:
A

Date of Listing:
3/20/2003

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
World War II Structures

Former Use
World War II Structures

Conservation Area:
No

Industrial Archaeology:
No

Vernacular:
No

Thatched:
No

Monument:
No

Derelict:
No




OS Map No:
127/11

IG Ref:
J0944 7546





Owner Category


Commercial

Exterior Description And Setting


A one and two-storey flat roofed and rendered brick building in a Modern Movement style with asymmetrical elevations, laid out on a T-shaped plan. Main entrance faces south-west. Walls of smooth cement render, slightly spalling or chipped in small areas to reveal red brick carcass beneath; small terracotta louvered air bricks at top and bottom of ground floor walls all round, with generally large windows to main rooms and narrow windows to minor rooms. Windows metal framed, small paned, with horizontal glazing bars, comprising fixed lights with top-hung vents; some parts of frames badly rusted. With the exception of a large window in the north corner which is set in a conventional vertical plane, windows are set in an angled plane, canted out at the top. Projecting concrete cills; projecting concrete heads to all windows of single storey block and two narrow windows in upper floor of two-storey block, otherwise windows are set in plain unmoulded reveals. Flat concrete roofs to both storeys, the roof of the lower block continuing as a cantilevered canopy projecting around three sides of the two-storey block at first floor level. Roofs and canopy covered with what appears to be a poured bituminous asphalt screed; tubular steel railings on perforated vertical angle-section steel posts, mounted all round perimeter of both roofs and canopy. Asbestos gutter to ground floor on entrance front and to first floor on rear elevation, damaged on entrance front and mostly missing on rear elevation; asbestos downpipes, partly missing on side facing south-east; cast iron soil pipe and waste pipes on entrance front. Main entrance is a rectangular flush timber door with a raised rectangular smooth cement rendered surround, approached by three concrete steps bounded by low plinth walls. Side facing north-west has a rectangular timber door, 4-panel, to ground floor leading to a former switch room, now an enclosed store; same elevation has a rectangular door in first floor leading onto roof of ground floor. On side elevation facing south-east is a steel runged cat ladder leading up to roof of upper storey; to right of that in a recess is a small later infill wall with an exposed timber fascia now rotted badly and revealing the red brickwork carcass behind. SETTING: The building stands isolated in a flat area of grassland and cornfields in a former airfield which is now used for agricultural and manufacturing purposes, with distant views to Gartree Church to the north-east and Lough Neagh to the west. Modern factory buildings and some war-time stores and a hangar stand well to the east. Concrete area immediately to the front of the control tower, with a concrete path around its perimeter.

Architects


Ministry of Aircraft Production

Historical Information


Built in 1942 as a control tower for Langford Lodge airfield by the Ministry of Aircraft Production. The airfield was opened in 1941 as a Satellite Landing Ground which was established for the temporary storage of new aircraft in the care of the RAF’s Maintenance Unit (no. 23) at Aldergrove. It was one of five SLG’s in Northern Ireland allocated to RAF Aldergrove, and one of about 50 such airfields in the United Kingdom. Unusually, other military airfield control towers were designed and built by the Air Ministry, this one was built by the Ministry of Aircraft Production and its design appears to be unique. During the course of 1942-3 the site was then developed into an Air Depot for the assembly, modification, repair, and storage of aircraft for the 8th Air Force of the United States Army Air Force. Initially operated jointly by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and the 8th Air Force, the base handled more than 10,000 aircraft between August 1942 and July 1945 comprising almost every type used by the USAAF during the Second World War. It was one of three such primary air depots in the UK, along with Burtonwood and Warton in Lancashire, which provided complete logistical back-up facilities to the USAAF. Known variously as ‘Scheme Y’ Northern Ireland; HQ First Service Area; Langford Lodge Air Depot; 2029th Air Depot (Prov); 403rd Air Depot; and 3rd Base Air Depot. Base closed in 1945; briefly used for the RAF’s No. 5 Air Navigation School from 1952-3; acquired by the present owners in 1958. References – Primary Sources 1. Copy of original drawing showing general layout of control tower, signed by the resident engineer of the Ministry of Aircraft Production (engineer’s signature unclear), and dated 9.7.42, in collection of the Ulster Aviation Society. 2. Photographs of the building under construction and in newly completed state, in collection of the Ulster Aviation Society. Secondary Sources 1. E. Cromie, Langford Lodge airfield – a brief history (1998), leaflet available at Ulster Aviation Society Heritage Centre.

Criteria for Listing


Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form F. Structural System G. Innovatory Qualities H-. Alterations detracting from building I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

W. National/International Interest V. Historical Association/Authorship Z. Scarcity



Evaluation


This is a clearly proportioned building in a plain and utilitarian modern style which exhibits the deliberate lack of ornamentation associated with the 20th century Modern Movement in architecture, as well as incorporating an uncommon glazing detail. It remains in a relatively unaltered state both inside and out, and enjoys a setting which is still recognisable as an airfield. The building is of historical importance due to its association with the Second World War as well as being of local historical interest as part of the development of the Langford Lodge estate. Its value is also enhanced by the rarity of this particular building type.

General Comments




Date of Survey


Saturday, September 04, 1999