Ancient Monuments

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Dale Airfield

A Scheduled Monument in Marloes and St. Brides (Marloes a Sain Ffrêd), Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Latitude: 51.7162 / 51°42'58"N

Longitude: -5.1924 / 5°11'32"W

OS Eastings: 179576

OS Northings: 206766

OS Grid: SM795067

Mapcode National: GBR G2.ZSDT

Mapcode Global: VH0VD.Y4C6

Entry Name: Dale Airfield

Scheduled Date: 14 June 2011

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 975

Cadw Legacy ID: PE566

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Airfield

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Marloes and St. Brides (Marloes a Sain Ffrêd)

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire


The monument comprises the well-preserved remains of the former Second World War military airfield at Dale. It was opened by the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 1st June 1942 as an RAF Satellite Landing Ground for its parent establishment at RAF Talbenny. On 5th September 1943, Dale was handed over to the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in exchange for the airfield at Angle, and was used by the Fleet Air Arm until its closure on 13th December 1947. The RNAS developed the airfield further in a second phase of building activity. The remains comprise a network of prepared concrete surfaces, the footings of buildings and related sub-surface archaeology relating to the construction, operation and subsequent re-configuration of the airfield. The three runways are arranged in an 'A' shaped formation. The longest runway was aligned E-W and measured 1290m in length. The ends of the runways are interlinked via a perimeter track, from which a number of 'frying pan' style dispersal hard standings are arranged on the S and W sides. A further complex network of dispersed hard standings and aprons is located at the NE corner of the site in the angle between two runways.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knoweldge of Second World War military airfield in Wales. The site is very well preserved and is the most complete, intact and, following abandonment, unaltered airfield plan form in Wales. It is the most legible in terms of being able to understand how an airfield looked and worked. It is representative of the major investment by the defence establishment in order to secure victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. The airfield plan reflects the function-process orientated planning used by the military and the concept of dispersal, by which technical buildings and aircraft were seperated by large spaces in order to protect personnel and equipment. It is characterised by pre-determined locations, distances and directions between technical facilities and zones of the airfield, all designed to enhance efficiency, safety and usage under pressure. It retains significant archaeological potential and distinctive phasing between the RAF and RNAS occupation of the site. There is a strong probability of the presence of evidence relating to functional detail, particularly relating to building foundatinos and service infrastructure, together with artefacts and other below ground features relating to airfield operations and defence.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described above, and the area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is an irregular polygon in shape on plan, and measures 1.5km N-S by 1.5km transversely.

Source: Cadw

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