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BUILDING 31 (OFFICERS' MESS AND QUARTERS)

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: BUILDING 31 (OFFICERS' MESS AND QUARTERS)

List entry Number: 1392053

Location

BUILDING 31 (OFFICERS' MESS AND QUARTERS)

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Catterick

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 01-Dec-2005

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 500309

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

CATTERICK

1871/0/10003 MARNE BARRACKS (FORMER RAF CATTERICK) 01-DEC-05 Building 31 (Officers' Mess and Quarte rs)

GV II Officers' Mess with accommodation. 1935. By A Bulloch, architectural advisor to the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. Drawing Nos 2498/34 and 204/35. Extended 1939. Red brick in Flemish bond, pantile roof on steel trusses.

PLAN: A broad-fronted 'H' plan, with symmetrical front, the central single-storey range set back from the two-storey bedroom wings. The central range long and shallow, with central hall flanked by the main reception rooms - a long ante-room to the right and two rooms to the left, approached by the long corridor at the rear. The main dining room lies at right angles to this range across the corridor but central to the ante-room. To the left, rear, are kitchen and services, with a small two-storey bedroom block. The transverse corridor is taken through short links to the bedroom blocks, which are double-banked, with central corridor.

EXTERIOR: All roofs are hipped, with parapets to the reception range and the dining room. All windows are timber sash with glazing-bars, to flush boxes, with brick voussoirs and stone sills. The central range has a slightly stepped forward central 3 arched bays to brick piers, over set-back pairs of glazed doors with radial fanlights, all to a one step full-width stone landing; the parapet is taken higher than to the flanking sections, in five bays with large 29-pane windows (grouped 3 + 2), with 2 similar windows on the end returns; to the right one of the windows has a pair of doors inserted below the upper sash. There are 2 plain square ridge stacks to the centre section.

Short low-level links, each with 2 pairs of glazed French doors, connected to the 2-storey blocks. The short ends have three 12-pane above a central arched, part-glazed door flanked by 12-pane, and at the eaves, tall paired stacks linked at the top over an arched opening. The long returns are in 12 bays, with 12-pane to each level. There are walls and gates enclosing internal courtyards to rear.

INTERIOR: Original joinery including panelled doors throughout. The square entrance hall has pairs of glazed doors open to the corridor each side at the rear. The mess rooms are richly appointed with cornicing, bolection-moulded panelling and fireplaces. Floors are in polished wood strip. Dog-leg staircases have turned balusters to a solid string, and heavy square newels.

HISTORY: In Britain, and in contrast to newly-independent countries such as Finland and mostly modernistic styles adopted by those municipalities commissioning terminal architecture, the planners for the post-1934 expansion of the RAF were enjoined to soften the impact of new bases on the landscape by politicians mindful of public concerns over the issues or rearmament and the pace of environmental change. In 1931, the Air Ministry had been instructed by government to consult over the issues of airbase design with the Royal Fine Arts Commission, all of whose consultant architects and planners had cut their teeth in the late Victorian period: one of their number, Sir Reginald Blomfield, was an outspoken critic of modern architecture and its threatened erosion of regional traditions and another was the distinguished country house architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

These influences were especially marked in the standard officers' mess of the post-1934 expansion of the RAF, designed by an architect appointed as a result of this liason. A fine composition, externally in original condition, typical of this period in its neo-Georgian style. It also clearly shows the impact of the Royal Fine Arts Commission on designs of the post-1934 Expansion Period, but especially the 'guiding hand' of Sir Edwin Lutyens in its careful grouping of openings, and in the paired chimney stacks. It was planned according to the principles of dispersal, established by Sir Hugh Trenchard - the RAF's first C-in-C - in the early 1920s, whereby the central dining area and recreational facilities are separated from the accommodation wings by lengths of corridors with the idea of localising the effects of bomb damage.

This station was opened in 1914 to train pilots and assist in the defence of north east England, although the land was not officially leased from Lord Yarborough until January 1917 (it was bought by the Air Ministry in 1924). 'A Flight' of 76 Squadron, which was responsible for the defence of the Leeds and Sheffield area, was stationed here from late 1916 to November 1918, Catterick also becoming in the final stages of the war one of over 60 Training Depot Stations for the training of pilots in daylight bombing. Catterick is the only Home Defence Station of the First World War period to have retained original fabric relating to its original flying field. Most notable are the hangars of 1917, externally remodelled but retaining their original steel frames and built to an earlier standard design for the first generation of army hangars of 1913: the use of steel, commonly used by the Admiralty for its seaplane sheds, is unique for a Royal Flying Corps base. This makes it one of only nine groups in Britain (7 in England, Montrose in Scotland and Shotwick in Wales) to have retained substantially complete suites of hangar buildings dating from the period up to 1919, a great rarity in a European context.

Like Old Sarum airfield, another significant site sited close to another major army training ground (Salisbury Plain), Catterick's rebuilding in the inter-war period - under contracts first let in 1925-6 - was firmly linked to its role as an Army Co-operation station. The married quarters and more permanent buildings on the technical site were constructed in the late 1920s and in 1935, under Scheme A of the post-1934 expansion of the RAF, the site was augmented by new C-type hangars, a control tower , officers' mess and barrack blocks. By 1938, it had become a key fighter sector station in 13 Group. In readiness for this role it was provided with a single runway, defensive system and fighter pens: some pillboxes, a Bofors gunpit and fighter pens survive. From September 1939 Catterick played a vital role in the defence of the north east and of convoys in the North Sea. During 11 Group's front-line role in the Battle of Britain, Catterick - which had played its part during the early stages of the battle - was used as a rest station for fighter squadrons returning from the south east. Catterick is the only fighter station in the north of England which retains fabric recommended for listing as a consequence of the thematic survey of military aviation sites and structures by English Heritage. (PRO AIR 2/252; Bruce Barrymore Halpenny, Military Airfields of Yorkshire, Action Stations 4 (Wellingborough, 1982), pp. 45-53; Operations Record Books, PRO AIR 28/141)

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Barrymore Halpenny, B, Action Stations 4: Military Airfields of Yorkshire, (1982)
'Operations Record Books' in PRO AIR 28/141, ()

National Grid Reference: SE 24383 97545

Map

Map
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End of official listing