An airfield was established at Stow Maries in September 1916 during the First World War for the Royal Flying Corps. By 1919 the need for airfields lessened and Stow Maries was closed. The site was considered for development as an airfield during the Second World War but considered unsuitable due to the clay soil. Even though not opened it played a role nonetheless, being bombed by the Luftwaffe and used as an emergency landing site by a damaged Hurricane fighter plane.
The airfield buildings are still mostly intact, with the original windows still in place. The buildings were used to store grain and farm vehicles until 2008. The airfield has subsequently been purchased by Steve Wilson and Russell Savory and is being restored to a state that it would have been found in 1919.
Starting in 2014, to commemorate the Centenary of World War I, and in partnership with the 14-18 Aviation Heritage Trust and the Vintage Aviator Ltd The Vintage Aviator (both New Zealand), the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust Ltd (“WAHT”, United Kingdom) will bring 5–8 different World War I aircraft to the UK to tell the story of the technical and tactical aerial combat that occurred between allied and German aviators throughout the Great War. Subject to funding, WAHT will acquire a WW1 aircraft each year on behalf of the nation to tell the story of each year of the War at airshows and commemorative events in the form of air displays, flypasts and static diorama. It is planned that ultimately these aircraft will be based at the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Essex supported by an apprenticeship scheme to foster the preservation and restoration of World War I aircraft and creating a centre of excellence dedicated to keeping the aviation legacy of the war alive.
Join us on this special 1 hour trial flight to Stow Maries.