RAF Barnham

During the height of the Cold War in the 1950's RAF Barnham was one of only two sites in the UK for the long-term storage and servicing of Britain's nuclear arsenal. It was abandoned when nuclear technology changed in the early 1960s. Although it subsequently became an industrial estate, almost all of the significant buildings and earthworks remain.

ACTA prepared a conservation management plan for the setting-out measures to restore the overall character of the site. The prefabricated Seco buildings and reinforced concrete structures are to be conserved while continuing to be used for light industry and storage.

Many of the original plans survive on site, and this allowed detailed appraisals to be made of each structure. Working with the advice of English Heritage specialists and the original RAF records, it was possible to develop an understanding of the way that the servicing operations were carried out and the relative importance of different buildings and structures.

Client English Heritage and Mr K Eldred


The gantries used for unloading bombs survive and are still used for lifting, but the reinforced concrete is beginning to decay and needs protection.




The guard towers survive more or less intact and are currently being conserved. The site lies within a heathland SSSI and the character of this landscape can be restored around the fringes.