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Turnberry Airfield

Military Airfield (Second World War), Military Airfield (First World War)

Site Name Turnberry Airfield

Classification Military Airfield (Second World War), Military Airfield (First World War)

Alternative Name(s) Turnberry Aerodrome

Canmore ID 94164

Site Number NS20NW 33

NGR NS 205 070

NGR Description Centred NS 205 070

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Kirkoswald
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

World War One Audit of Surviving Remains (4 June 2013)

Turnberry military aerodrome was established on Turnberry golf course in January 1917 as ‘No. 2 Auxiliary School of Aerial Gunnery’. It occupied an area of 150 hectares, measuring 1645m by 1143m. In the 1918 RAF survey of aerodromes it was recorded that there were four aircraft hangars, a repair shed and a salvage shed; in addition there were no fewer than 16 canvas Bessonneaux hangars, as well as workshops and training huts. The officers’ mess was in the luxurious Turnberry Hotel; the other ranks were accommodated in 25 huts. In the autumn of 1918 Turnberry was one of the largest air stations in Scotland, with an establishment of 1215 officers and other ranks, of whom 205 were women, and 204 pilot officers under instruction. The No. 1 School of Aerial Fighting transferred to Turnberry in May 1918. In autumn 1918 the station had 96 aircraft: 24 Avro 504s, 8 Bristol fighters, 16 DH4 or DH9, 30 Sopwith Camels, 12 SE5, and 12 Sopwith Dolphins, as well as captured German aircraft, for training purposes.

The aerodrome was returned to Turnberry golf club in 1919, but re-occupied in the Second World War. Nothing of the First World War occupation survives.

Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 31 May 2013

Archaeology Notes

NS20NW 33.00 centred 205 070

NS20NW 33.01 NS 2190 0744 Pillbox (possible)

See also:

NS10NE 5 NS 1997 0727 War Memorial

Turnberry came into existence in 1917 then closed at the end of the First World War, but was revived as an Anti-Aircraft Landing Ground in the 1930s. The airfield re-opened during 1942, but the local topography was so cramped that the any further expansion was impossible. The airfield closed in 1945. In the 1960s it was reopened for light aircraft, especially during the Open Golf tournaments at the adjacent course. Most of the wartime buildings have been demolished.

D J Smith 1983

A World War II airfield situated to the N of Turnberry. The Maidens Road (Maidens to Turnberry) runs through the airfield.

On the date of visit it was noted that the runways were still extant and many toher buildings survive. The former Control Tower is now a private house.

J Guy 2001; NMRS MS 810/11, Vol.1, 58-9; Vol.2 (appendix), 4


Project (March 2013 - September 2013)

A project to characterise the quantity and quality of the Scottish resource of known surviving remains of the First World War. Carried out in partnership between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS.


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