Report number: 90/2007

Title High Down Test Site, Isle of Wight
Summary The remains of the High Down Test Site are a rare example of a 1950s British rocket test facility, built at a time when the country was amongst a handful of nations at the forefront of rocket and missile technology. Internationally, large rocket testing facilities of this date are uncommon, restricted to the two Superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and possibly France. It is also a visible reminder of the Isle of Wight’s aviation heritage, in such specialised fields as flying boats, rocket powered interceptor fighter and hovercraft, and in particular its contribution to space technology. Most of the site’s ancillary buildings have been demolished and the metal work of the test stands removed, nevertheless, its plan form and remaining features may be used to illustrate the operation of a post-war rocket test facility. The site and surrounding down land is owned by the National Trust and is publicly accessible. This report presents an analytical survey of the site, describing the site’s historical context, its remains and explanation of its operating procedures.
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 60
  • Cocroft, W D
Keywords Building Recording ,  Modern