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Shoreham Airfield dome trainer, 240m south west of Sussex Pad Hotel

A Scheduled Monument in Lancing, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8397 / 50°50'22"N

Longitude: -0.299 / 0°17'56"W

OS Eastings: 519863.479609

OS Northings: 105839.13081

OS Grid: TQ198058

Mapcode National: GBR HMD.971

Mapcode Global: FRA B68W.7BD

Entry Name: Shoreham Airfield dome trainer, 240m south west of Sussex Pad Hotel

Scheduled Date: 4 July 1986

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005818

English Heritage Legacy ID: WS 487

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Lancing

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Shoreham Beach Good Shepherd

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes a dome trainer built during the Second World War for training ground gunners in airfield defence. It is situated near Honeyman's Hole on the north side of Shoreham Airport, west of Old Shoreham.
The dome trainer is a hemispherical building, 12m in diameter, with an entrance on the north side and nine windows. It is constructed of concrete and metal mesh, which is covered with gritted tar. The interior of the dome originally portrayed the night sky onto which were projected films of moving aircraft. These were fired at by trainees using a facsimile anti-aircraft gun or 'dummy gun'.
Shoreham Airport is Britain's oldest licensed airport and was used as a military airfield in both the First and Second World Wars. It opened in 1911 and was rebuilt in 1936. During the Second World War it was used in air-sea rescue, as well as having a major role in the 1942 Dieppe raid and the D Day landings in 1944. The dome trainer on the north side of the airfield suffered fire damage in about 1980 but was restored by 1995.

Sources: West Sussex HER 4430 - MWS848. NMR TQ10NE94, TQ20NW97. PastScape 1410509, 1409742.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dome trainers are dome-shaped buildings housing training apparatus, including a projector, for training ground gunners in the art of airfield defence. Despite partial damage by fire in the past, Shoreham Airfield dome trainer survives in good condition. It is a rare example of a Second World War dome trainer. There are now few surviving examples although one of similar design is a scheduled ancient monument at Langham Airfield, Norfolk. As a significant testament to the development of military training and as an example of enterprise and intuition in airfield defence, at a time when Britain faced one of the greatest airborne threats of the twentieth century, it is of national importance.

Source: Historic England

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