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USAF Barford St. John

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The USAF Croughton site


RAF Croughton was built in 1938. Originally known as Brackley Landing Ground, and then RAF Brackley, in July 1941 it became RAF Station Croughton.

The station became a satellite for RAF Upper Heyford to provide the unit with extra airfield space for night-flying training for Commonwealth pilots. From 1947 to 1950 the site was largely redundant.

At the end of 1950 the USAF took over the station – and this began RAF Croughton’s new communications mission until the present day.


The original use as a Second World War airfield is almost visible today – as shown in the Google Maps satellite image on the right (note, you can zoom in/out and drag this satellite image around to get a more detailed view of the site). Much of the concrete runway/taxiway of the former airfield has been removed in recent years and grassed over.

You can view the site on the Ordnance Survey map via the Streetmap site at –

Note, the arrows in all the above maps points to the location of main gate for the site, where local peace rallys/Quaker meetings for worship are held.

small map of RAF Croughton military byelaws area

Military bylaws

In 2012 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) launched a public consultation on the creating of new military byelaws for the site. Military byelaws – as with other types local byelaws – create criminal offences in relation to land controlled by the MoD.

Click here to view/download a PDF copy of the 2014 military byelaws.

The new byelaws define two areas (click the map to view/download a higher-resolution version) –

Note that the new military byelaws operate outside of other civil and criminal public order/trespass laws, and in many ways are designed to facilitate the control/curtailment of any process within or on the perimeter of the site – and can be enforced by "appointed" uniformed staff, not just by the civil police.

If you would like to park a vehicle and view the site, the best place to head for is Portway Lane on the western side of the site. This also gives access to the bridleway (marked 'green lane' on the byelaws map) which allows you to walk around the southern edge of the site – although trying to cross the busy A43 on the other side of the site for a longer country walk is fraught with danger! The view from the B4031 along the north side of the site is not very good, and it's a very narrow/busy road to walk along; and it isn't safe to stop on the A43 to the east except at the road junctions.

Next section » The USAF Barford St. John site