The Memorial Building is situated on one of the very few surviving airfields which participated in the Battle of Britain. RAF Manston was the closest airfield to the enemy coast and bore the brunt of the early Luftwaffe air attacks in the long hot summer of 1940. Permanently housed at Manston are splendid and original examples of the two World War 2 fighter aircraft which served the Royal Air Force so well in so many areas of battle both at home and overseas. The Spitfire Memorial Building was officially opened on the 13th June 1981 to house Spitfire TB 752 and was the very first building to be erected on any RAF station to house Gate-Guardian aircraft. The building cost some £30,000; the funding for this came from voluntary fund raising efforts and by donation from the people of Thanet. The Hurricane Memorial Building was officially opened by Dame Vera Lynn on the 7th October 1988 to house Hurricane LF 751. The building cost in excess of £100,000, being appreciably larger than the companion building and also provided an area for a sales counter. The Spitfire and Hurricane are now written into the folklore of this country and it is most fitting that fine examples of these two aircraft are displayed in the County of Kent which witnessed so many of the great air battles of 1940 and the Allied air armadas which followed.
British Summer time: 10.00- 17.00 British Winter time: 10.00-16.00 Closed: 24, 25, 26, 27 December and 1 January.
No charge is made for admission but as the Memorial Building is totally self funding a large selection of aviation related items are available for purchase. Donations are most welcome as overheads amount to nearly £2 per visitor.
All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Facilities and services
- Baby changing facilities
- Gardens open to public
- Parking for coaches
- Parking for disabled available
- Picnic area
- Toilets for disabled
- Wheelchairs available for loan
Free coach and car parking. Coach parties welcome. Prior notice for school parties would be appreciated.
- Brochure or leaflet available with directions to museum
- Pre-booking service for groups
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