Part of airfield to be sold

Slice of North Devon military memorabilia to go under the hammer

PART of a former North Devon air base is to go under the hammer next month.

RAF Winkleigh played host to a number of secret Allied missions against the Nazis during World War Two and was of such strategic importance in the war effort that London denied it even existed.

But a slice of military memorabilia – including part of the runway network and adjoining amenity land – is now up for grabs with a disclosed reserve of �25,000.

The site, just off the A3214 and near Torrington, is one of 24 regional lots being sold by Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers at the Legacy Plymouth International Hotel at 11am on Thursday, June 9.

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Auctioneer Graham Barton, said: “This is an unusual lot, for sure, and may well appeal to people who want the pleasure of owning a sizeable chunk of land, the military history associations of which may also appeal.

“It is a humbling experience to walk in the footsteps of so many brave combatants who risked their lives at a dark time in our country’s history.”

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The air base was purpose-built in 1940, with the aim of defending Britain’s Western Approaches.

Just five minutes flying time to the coastline of the North Atlantic and less than an hour from the battlefronts of occupied France, around 1,262 people were stationed or working at RAF Winkleigh during the war.

Runway foundations were built 15 feet thick, with local Devon quarries working round-the-clock to supply hardcore.

Even more stone ballast was required, so it was shipped from South Wales to Bideford harbour before being delivered to the aerodrome by convoys of heavy trucks.

The freehold 8.7 acres at the former airfield comprises an area of former runway, aircraft hardstanding and a number of outbuildings, with woodland.

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