In The Media
Abandoned and derelict former RAF base in Cambridgeshire
Visit Number 1
RAF Upwood was closed and abandoned in 1994. It was host to both British and American Air Forces over the years with around 3,600 personel on site. Built in 1917 during World War 1, it was used as a satellite site and night landing ground. By 1934 it was expanded and permanent buildings were erected. The site was targeted by two air raids during WW2 and a German spy was discovered with site maps nearby after parachuting in. He was sentenced to death by firing squad at the Tower of London for treachery. In 1943 three concrete runways were built which allowed larger planes to be stationed there. By 1981 the site was dormant and it was decided to lease it to the USAF. It was under USAF control from 1981 to 1994 when it closed.
The site is now derelict and badly vandalised with graffiti everywhere. All the fixtures and fittings have been stripped and everything that remains has been damaged in some way, including fires that have broken out in various buildings, by bored youths no doubt. It is notably different to Sculthorpe. The fabrics of the buildings are totally different, even down to the bannisters and toilet walls! Some of the buildings that have larger rooms in them still have the lovely wooden floors intact which we found suprising. The buildings are far smaller than Sculthorpe too and much closer together, utilising as much land space as possible, and it wasn't quite so overgrown so all the buildings were easily accessible. None of the buildings are numbered or named, so we had no idea what was what as we trudged round, although the water tower and boilerhouse were obvious! A few of the buildings had stairways leading underground, but there was absolutely no way we were going down there! The site isn't as eerie as Rayham and Sculthorpe, but that's probably because there were a few people exploring on the day we were there and a group of people were flying drones so it wasn't deserted. It was an interesting explore - everytime we rounded a corner at the end of a building we discovered more buildings and it seemed to go on forever! This was a great find! These pictures were taken in October 2019.
Visit Number 2
After my first visit, I realised the site was huge and didn't manage to get round all of it. I did lots of research and studied the layout of the site and was better prepared this time and understood more of which buildings were which. We still didn't get round it all, but with my friend Lesley, we braved one of the Emergency escape routes under a building which was pitch black (I think it was in the Headquarters building), as well as the two De-Contamination blocks which are also pitch black! We also went up the boilerhouse tower to the first floor which was fairly daunting, and had a good look round. With the help of the map, I was able to identify all of the buildings we were looking at, so I've labelled them on here. I've also included my site map so others can maybe use it too. It's such a shame that this site will be demolished in the next few months, there's so much history with it and I find it amazing to be able to wander and explore. It just seems like such a waste and must be heartbreaking for those that once lived and served our country from here to see it the way it is now.
The photos in this section were taken in February 2020.
Visit Number 3
Again, after a second visit, we still didn't manage to get round the whole site and we'd missed out the most important section - the bit that's being demolished first - the Officers Mess and Accomodation blocks. So my brother and I took a day off in the week and trekked over there again. This time we did the whole site, just missing a few of the barrack blocks.
The photos in this section were taken in March 2020.
Graffiti on site
I know it's not to everyone's taste, but some of the graffiti artwork on the site is amazing. Here's a selection below.
Here's my site map, devised with the help of the RAF Upwood account holder on Instagram and an old map I found on the internet somewhere! Please let me know if any are wrong and I will update it.
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