Davidstow Moor, Camelford,
Tel: (01840) 213266
War on the moor
Housed in the former sergeants' shower block, the RAF Davidstow Moor Memorial Museum gives a rich pictorial history of its wartime years with many authentic local memorabilia.
The land was acquired in 1941 and a three-runway airfield with extensive dispersal area was constructed in the first half of 1942. Despite the moorland conditions construction was reasonably straightforward, although it did involve the removal of various field boundaries the closure of minor roads and some drainage work. The airfield was not used a great deal due to the amount of bad weather and frequent heavy mists.
Situated on the edge of the wild expansive Bodmin Moor, it's hard to imagine that the site of the memorial museum was once alive with the roar of aircraft taking off and landing and the drone of military vehicles. Opened in October 1942, a convoy of American airmen were the first to arrive, to refuel before heading onto France.
Davidstow Moor saw its share of disasters too. It's estimated that there were about 40 air crashes - planes limping home and forced to land, others over shooting the runway - and over 100 aircrew lost their lives. There are many stories connected with the airfield - acts of great bravery, and work of great importance.
The airfield was closed in December 1945 to become a motor racing circuit 2.6 miles long, known as Davidstow Circuit. Between 1954 and 1955 three Formula One races were held by the Cornwall MRC, where the first success for the Lotus marque was achieved.
Just east of the A39 three miles north of Camelford.
Every day 10.30am - 4.00pm
Bodmin Moor Boscastle Camelford Tintagel Crowdy Reservoir
British Cycling Museum Cornwall at War Museum