Crail Airfield: Engine, Aircraft & Repair Shop, Crail

+ -
Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Crail Airfield: Engine, Aircraft & Repair Shop
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NO 62503 09320
Location Type
Rural Settlement
HS Reference No


Very large Northlight Hangar, brick with distinctive corrugated iron 5-bay sawtooth roof. Collection of low lean-to outshots to N and S elevations. Large sliding metal doors on projecting sliding gear to W elevation. Variety of multi-pane metal windows and timber boarded doors.

The Northlight Hangar was a design unique to the Naval Air Stations constructed in the early War period (see below). The example at Crail is well-preserved. It is the largest building on the site and is a significant landscape feature. Some of the mechanism from the Torpedo Attack Training Building (see separate listing) is stored here. Crail Airfield is the best preserved example of a Second World War Naval Airfield in Scotland. It is remarkable for its survival, completeness and the rarity of some of the individual buildings. It is highly significant not only in the wider terms of Naval and Second World War history, but is also of great local importance. Crail was one of 4 airfields constructed in the early war period (along with Arbroath in Angus, Yeovilton in Somerset, and St Merryn in Cornwall). It follows the Naval pattern of 4 narrow hard runways and associated brick, concrete and corrugated iron structures. The runways are part of the main operational side, the 'Technical Area' to the South-East. The recreation and living quarters of the 'West Camp' are located to the North-West. These areas are separated by the road between Crail and Balcomie. The aircraft hangars and the great majority of the interiors are the most significant losses at the site. Many buildings have been altered and are in a poor state of repair. Around 2000 personnel were stationed at Crail Airfield, both living at the airfield itself and billeted in Crail and the surrounding area. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
21/09/2007, 07/01/2011, 5/8/2014, 13/6/2019
Development History
September 2007: External inspection finds the various A-list building on the former airfield are vacant and not maintained. Most buildings are severely dilapidated or vandalised.
January 2011: External inspection finds the largest building on the site suffering badly from corrosion. The building is thought to be at least partly in use as storage space.
5 August 2014: External inspection finds the buildings remain in much the same condition as seen previously.
18 December 2014: The Courier reported 3 Dec 2014 on the early stages of a masterplan for the redevelopment of buildings and land at Crail Airfield. The article notes the proposal may include houses, a hotel, community centre and shops though a development company, Landvest. A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) is noted as having been lodged with Fife Council.
13 June 2019: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously, subject to gradual decline. The surrounding former airfield is understood to be in use for car-boot sales and other outdoor events.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
03451 555555


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Online Resources
Military Installations
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit