Thursday, 11 April 2013

Ellenbrook Hatfield Aerodrome

Ellenbrook
The Ellenbrook flows southwards

Post to the north Hatfield Aerodrome
Post to the south Nast Hyde
Post to the west Smallford

Ellenbrook Fields
This area was the site of the de Havilland aerodrome. It is now owned by an organisation which began as British Aerospace’s property division and is undertaking regeneration of the area along with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council and Hertfordshire County Council. Until the 1930s it was a farm owned by the Sinclair family it was then acquired by de Havilland and the first planes were flown in 1933. In 1960 it was taken over by Hawker Siddeley and in 1978 by British Aerospace. The site closed in 1994.
Ellenbrook. The Ellenbrook ran in a covered culvert under the airfield
Harpsfield Hall. The Sinclair family lived in Harpsfield Hall which stood west of the Ellenbrook and reached by a long drive way from St. Albans Road. It had been demolished by 1935. The main aerodrome runway covered the site. Recent archaeology has uncovered some medieval remains. 
The main runway of the Aerodrome ran north-eastwards across the site. The concrete runway here was one of the first to be built with the aim of a long life and designed in 1944. Unlike other wartime runways it was designed to deal with the unexplored future of modern civil and military aviation.

St.Albans Road West
The Ellenbrook flowed under St Albans Road in an open ditch until the aerodrome runway was built in 1944 when it was replaced by one larger and re-routed, continuing under St Albans Road and along Ellenbrook Lane.
Hertfordshire Sports Village

Ellenbrook Lane
The Ellenbrook was diverted when the main aerodrome runway was built and it was diverted down this lane. An existing open culvert was retained for the Nast, which drains from the western end of the airfield.  The brook runs alongside the lane.

Sources
Hatfield Aerodrome Heritage Trail. Web site
Hatfield Sports Village Web site

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