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There’s more than meets the eye at Croome Court, near Pershore. RAF Defford was a top secret airfield built in the grounds of this 18th century mansion. It is thought to be the most important World War II site in the United Kingdom, after Bletchley Park.

Worcestershire has some great places to visit for day out and they don’t come more interesting than National Trust owned Croome Court, a mid 18th century neo-Palladian mansion, surrounded by parkland at Croome D’Abitot, near Pershore. The mansion and park were designed by Capability Brown for the 6th Earl of Coventry. Croome Court stands in outstanding Worcestershire countryside with commanding views over the Malverns.

Within the grounds of this magnificent estate is RAF Defford where secret work was undertaken on the development of radar and the first ever automatic landing occurred at the airfield. It was closed to flying in 1957.

The RAF Defford Museum, housed in a 1942 former RAF building at Croome Park, tells the story of the airbase and the men and women who served there. The secret work continued into the Cold War years, with virtually every type of aircraft used by RAF and Royal Navy plus some US Air Forces types, represented at Defford.

Among the achievements of Defford was the development of airborne radar which defeated the German U-boat menace.

Dr Bob Shaw, secretary of the Defford Airfield Heritage Group, said: "In truth, it can be said that the Battle of the Atlantic was won over the green fields of Worcestershire."

The museum is open from 11am to 4.30pm during the summer.

RAF Guided Walks depart from the Visitor Centre at 11.30am and return around 1.

No booking required - tickets available at reception (please note numbers limited to 25)

RAF Walks in 2017 are scheduled for:

     Sunday 4 June
     Sunday 2 July
     Sunday 6 August
     Sunday 3 September
     Sunday 1 October.

The RAF Walk highlights wartime locations and reveals how events changed the 18th century 'Capability' Brown landscape. There are also secrets waiting to be told along the route, for this was no ordinary airfield - top secret radar was tested here which helped to win the War.



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