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Moving the building

The Watch Office building was granted Grade II Listed status as a “building of special historical interest” but was located in an area of the former RAF Hendon and would have been lost in the new housing development on the site. It was therefore decided to dismantle the building and re-erect it on the Museum’s site.

The brickwork, steelwork and decorative elements were carefully dismantled and re-erected in a manner that preserves the character of the building.

Where possible the Watchtower has been rebuilt with existing materials or similar to re-create the appearance: the steel trusses, staircase, and approximately 90% of the coping and 85% of the joinery was retained.

Structures were designed in accordance with current design and Building Regulations standards, with necessary changes such as the inclusion of a lift to ensure it is accessible to all.

The relocation of a listed building is an exceptional event and is rarely permitted. The successful relocation of the Watchtower Building has been achieved through partnership between key organisations, principally the RAF Museum, London Borough of Barnet and English Heritage.