Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 46014 20792
346014, 720792


Designed by Lieutenant-Colonel BHO Armstrong, constructed by Melville, Dundas & Wilson of Glasgow, 1917-18. Timber truss roofs by D Anderson of Belfast. Rare survival of pair of 100ft wide by 15 bays General Service Aircraft Sheds (formerly group of 3; see Notes) with coupled very flat segmental arched corrugated metal roofs. Later alterations. Long brick outer walls with piers dividing bays, clerestorey with non-traditional replacement windows. Various low lean-to annexes. Later corrugated metal entrance doors with flanking taller brick gantries. One set of entrance doors on building 55 have been re-clad. All entrance doors on building 57 have been re-clad. INTERIOR: dominated by close-spaced whitewashed timber Belfast roof trusses with diagonal grid infill. Later concrete floor.

Statement of Special Interest

The only surviving examples of their type in Scotland and one of only a handful remaining in the United Kingdom. Constructed for the Royal Naval Air Service, these are the oldest hangars in use in Scotland and they have been in continuous use since before the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1st April 1918. Surviving airfield buildings from the First World War period are extremely rare as most were expected to be temporary and built for the duration of the conflict only. This surviving pair are an important part of aviation and military history. Originally part of a group of three paired sheds, only two now remain. They are a highly significant part of RAF Leuchars and form a distinctive landscape feature. The sheds are of standard War Office design and correspond to drawing number 332/17 in the Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM) archive, which is dated 1917. The original specification for the flooring was re-inforced concrete and it is probable that they would have been constructed with timber doors with asbestos cladding. The Belfast truss roof design originated from the Ulster flax industry as a way of creating a very economical wide span roof. The sheds were originally built to accommodate the training of Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Station pilots for campaigns in Europe during the First World War. Adjacent to the Eastern most shed is a WWI flight office, and the original plan form for the sheds incorporated a single storey suite to the centre 7 bays, which would have housed workshops on the technical side and offices and dressing rooms on the domestic side. The standard design of the sheds for the Directorate of Fortifications and Works at the War Office was by Lieutenant-Colonel BHO Armstrong, considered by AiX to be the most important War Office architect of WWI. He was also responsible for the design of the Armstrong Hut, a collapsible timber and canvas hut used on operations by the British Army and at RAF bases for temporary accommodation. RAF Leuchars is remarkable for its collection of airfield structures detailing aviation and military history from the First World War until the Cold War period and beyond. Within Scotland it is one of the best-preserved airfields and in UK terms it is considered to be within the ten most important sites. It is one of the earliest aerodromes in Scotland with balloon flights taking place from a nearby site in 1911 and the airfield itself became a permanent establishment by 1918. It was used as a training base in the 1920s and the site was chosen by the War Office for its major expansion of RAF Stations in the 1930s. A number of hangars and other buildings were added in 1938-9 and World War II acted as a catalyst for yet more development. Unusually, the airfield continued in use after the the Second World War and jet fighters were introduced in 1950. The construction of NATO Cold War defences in the early 1980s was further significant addition to the structures on the site. Buildings dating from all major stages of the airfield s development remain at Leuchars. It is currently the Royal Air Force s principal operational fighter station. The site covers 371 hectares and has an east-west and northeast-southwest runway layout with perimeter taxiways and the typical arrangement of a domestic side and a technical side separated by a road.

The description in the listed building record of 2010 noted that there was a clerestorey with multi-pane fixed pane glazing and Later corrugated metal entrance doors . Following information received from the owners (2018) this has been changed to clerestorey with non-traditional replacement windows and Later corrugated metal entrance doors with flanking taller brick gantries. One set of entrance doors on building 55 have been re-clad. All entrance doors on building 57 have been re-clad .

Listed building record revised in 2018.



Canmore: CANMORE ID 202702

Printed Sources

Francis, P. (1996) British Military Airfield Architecture, Somerset: Patrick Stephens, pp. 84-89.

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, RAF Leuchars, unpublished report (2006).

Other Information

Information from English Heritage (2008).

Information from of AiX-ARG Archive Limited (2009).

Information from the Ministry of Defence (2018).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 16/10/2019 07:50