Purchase of the Site / WW1 Airfield
On 5th March 1923, the Prime Minister, Mr Bonar Law announced in the House of Commons that a… “Government Wireless Station capable of communicating with the Dominions” was to be built. The General Post Office (GPO) was awarded the job of building Rugby Radio Station.
The site chosen was 920 acres in the Parish of Hillmorton, Rugby. The land was purchased between 16th July 1923 and 18th February 1924. Eleven landowners were involved and the total price paid was £49,591 18s 6d. This included £100 compensation to the North Warwickshire Hunt for stopping hunting in Hillmorton Covert, which was part of the site.
About 80 acres (the north end of the site) had, from 1916 to 1919, been part of a World War I airfield. Lilbourne Airfield had hangers, workshops and a grass airstrip. In June 1919, the Government had put the airfield up for sale, little knowing that in just a few years they’d be buying it back.