WATCH: See inside abandoned military base near Leeds

This former RAF base has been abandoned by the military since 2013.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 20th April 2017, 11:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:26 pm

RAF Church Fenton opened in 1937 on a site close to Tadcaster and the modern-day A1.

During World War Two, it was a busy combat airfield and part of a network of fighter plane stations protecting the north's industrial cities.

American, Canadian and Polish squadrons were all based there, and the first night fighter unit was formed at Church Fenton.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

In the post-war years it remained operational and became an RAF and Royal Navy training school.

After the base's closure in 2013, much of the site became derelict and the officers' mess was demolished. Some hangars remained in use for air cadet training.

In 2014, it was bought by a private company who renamed it Leeds East Airport and applied to run business flights to London. However, their proposals were rejected and it remains a private commercial airfield.

The area is now divided into a 'live' section and a disused part comprising the former military buildings, which have been left to decay. Urban explorers have gained access to the derelict compound in recent years, and discovered basements containing drums of contaminated waste. The barracks, kitchen, bar, shooting range and water tower remain.