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Control Tower Designs 1914-39

Watch Office with Tower
'Fort' Type 1959/34 and 207/36 (without tower 2062/34)

This Watch Office was the first standardised type and was built at over 40 of the 'Expansion' period RAF Stations. The 1959/34 was brick and the 207/36 was pre-cast concrete. Many were later modified in different ways and several had the tower removed and a larger control room built (4698/43).
See RAF Bicester
Modified type: See RAF Driffield

Flying Training School Watch Office

Five of this design were constructed at Service Flying Training Schools before the war.
See RAF Shawbury

Watch Office with Met Section
2328/39 (concrete) and 5845/39 (brick)

Designed for the Expansion Period Permanent Stations in the contemporary Art Deco fashion. Styled to look like the top hamper of a streamlined ocean going liner, are these the only Control Towers with portholes?! Ground floor extends forward to support balcony, upper floor has curved corners.
See RAF Kirton in Lindsey

Control Tower Designs 1940-45
General Designs


Watch Office with Met Section
518/40 and 8936/40

This was the largest wartime type and was developed from the 5845/39. 518/40 had all timber first floor and balcony, 8936/40 had only the balcony and Control Room floor in timber.
See RAF Ibsley

Watch Office for All Commands

This was designed for use on Training airfields but was adopted as the standard building for all commands (except Satellites) in late 1943.
At rear, staircase window is eight feet high.
Several were later modified to 15371/41 with small front windows or to 343/43 with medium windows.

See RAF Duxford
15371/41 See RAF Rougham
343/43 See RAF East Kirkby

Watch Office for All Commands

This type replaced the 12779/41 after 1943 and has smaller lower front windows.
Most 12779/41's were later converted to this type by reducing the front window size.
Rear staircase window is four feet high.
See RAF Martlesham Heath

Day Fighter Stations

Fighter Satellite Watch Office

This Watch Office was the most basic design and many were extended or replaced with larger types during the war.
See RAF Condover

Fighter Satellite Watch Office

This was the first extension to 17658/40, adding a switch room to the side of the building.
See RAF Ludham

Fighter Satellite Watch Office

17658/40 extended on ground floor and new first floor added.
See RAF Balado Bridge


Night Fighter Stations


Night Fighter Station Watch Office

This Watch Office was the first standard type for Night Fighter Stations.
See RAF Twinwood Farm

Night Fighter Station Watch Office
15684/41 and 16560/41

This Watch Office replaced the 12096/41.
See RAF Zeals



Night Fighter Station Watch Office

Details unknown, only six built.
See RAF Melbourne

Bomber Stations


Bomber Satellite Type A
15898/40, 15956/40 and 17821/40

This Watch Office was the...

See RAF Grafton Underwood

Bomber Satellite Type B

This Watch Office was the...
See RAF Tibenham



Bomber & OTU Satellite

Replaced the previous designs.
See RAF Finmere

Royal Naval Air Service Designs

Watch Office

This 3 storey Watch Office was the standard early to mid war design.
See HMS Godwit



Watch Office

This 3 storey Watch Office was the late war design.

Control Tower Designs 1945-60

Very Heavy Bomber Stations

This was the last type designed during the war and was three storey. Built at Heathrow, Lakenheath, Marham, Sculthorpe and West Raynham.
See RAF West Raynham


Control Tower

Designed during the Korean War and built at Biggin Hill, Brize Norton, Fairford, Greenham Common, Mildenhall, North Weald and Upper Heyford.
See RAF Greenham Common

Control Tower V Bomber Stations

This two storey type was only built at Gaydon and Wittering 1953-55.
See RAF Gaydon



Control Tower, Vertical Split Control Type

Two storey design and the most common post war design with 17 built.
See RAF Manby

Local Control, Side by Side Type

Single storey design only built at Swinderby and Waddington.
See RAF Swinderby


Control Tower designs 1914 - 1960 : www.controltowers.co.uk
Control Tower types: = www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman 2001