Coordinates: 51°06′58″N 0°33′50″W / 51.1161°N 0.5638°W / 51.1161; -0.5638

Dunsfold is located in Surrey

 Dunsfold shown within Surrey
Population <3,000
OS grid reference TQ006361
District Waverley
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Godalming
Postcode district GU8
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament South West Surrey
List of places: UK • England • Surrey

Dunsfold is a village in the Waverley district of the county of Surrey, England, 8.7 miles (14 kilometres) south of Guildford. The census area Chiddingfold and Dunsfold has a population of 3,812.[1]



The village's name was recorded as Duntesfaude in 1259, Duntesfaud in 1272 and Duntesfalde in 1291, apparently meaning Dunt's fold. Alternatively it may be derived from the Old English dun (hill, cf. down) and fold (enclosure) - folding or enclosing being a way of moving sheep around the land to graze off crops remains previously harvested. It is a practice still followed on some of the farmland around the village. There are some prize-winning Aberdeen Angus cattle farmed here but the last dairy herd has now closed.

Church of St. Mary and All Saints.

St Mary & All Saints' Church is a Norman building, containing the oldest pews in England. The nearby Holy Well was formerly a site of pilgrimage and its waters were thought to cure diseases of the eye. It is further thought that the well may be a pre-Christian site and the church itself may be constructed on a man-made hill of pre-Christian origin. The current rector is Paul Jenkins who has been installed since 23/01/2007

Common House is a medieval hall which dates from circa 1500 and is of architectural importance. The village has many other houses of architectural interest including The Sun Inn public house, set back from the Common, parts of which are clearly ancient particularly the rear bar.

The village has one of the best-kept cricket pitches in the area for a village club and holds matches throughout the season, usually on Sunday afternoons.

The village was a site of iron-working in the Middle Ages. Later, Dunsfold benefited from the construction of the Wey and Arun Canal, and Dunsfold Aerodrome.

Dunsfold has a small Post Office and shop located in the middle of the village.

Dunsfold Park

The airstrip was built by the Canadian Army during World War II as an emergency landing airfield. After the war the airfield was used to repatriate prisoners of war. Dunsfold was declared inactive in 1946 but was used again in 1948 and 1949 as part of the Berlin Airlift. In 1950 The Hawker Aircraft Company acquired the lease of the site.[2]

In October 1960 the then Hawker Siddeley flight tested its Hawker P.1127 prototype, the development aircraft that led to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first VTOL jet fighter bomber. Final assembly of the Harrier and the Hawk trainer aircraft was at Dunsfold.[3] Hawker Siddelely became part of British Aerospace in 1977. On 2 July 1986 British Aerospace's deputy chief test pilot Jim Hawkins was killed at Dunsfold when his developmental Hawk 200 crashed.[3] On 24 June 1999 British Aerospace announced the closure of Dunsfold as part of a restructuring; Hawk final assembly had been transferred to Warton in 1988 and Harrier production finished in 1998.[4][5]

Post-British Aerospace

In 2002, BAE Systems (British Aerospace's successor) sold Dunsfold Park to The Rutland Group and The Royal Bank of Scotland forming Dunsfold Park Ltd with the intention of developing the site as Britain' s most sustainable village with 2500 homes. Since 2002, the BBC motoring show Top Gear has been recorded at the park using the former paint shop as a studio and parts of the runways and taxiways of the aerodrome as a test track.

The Young Drivers Track

Some of the track (The Young Drivers Track) is now used by many driving schools and instructors to enable under seventeen year olds to learn to drive. Hundreds of youngsters have now had their first driving experience at the Top Gear location before going out on to the road.

Since June 2007 Dunsfold Park has been home of the Surrey Air Ambulance Service.[6] Dunsfold Park is the home to Wings & Wheels, an air and motor show that has been running for many years now and typically held in late August. Currently run by the site owners, Dunsfold Park Ltd, it will continue until the park is redeveloped.


A Boeing 747-200 which served with British Airways until 2002 as City of Birmingham, G-BDXJ, was purchased by Aces High Limited, a company specialising in supplying aircraft for television and film work, and transferred to Dunsfold.

It was modified and used for filming for the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale. Some of the scenes set at Miami International Airport were filmed at Dunsfold. It has also appeared in the background of numerous Top Gear episodes and directly in an episode where it is towed by a JCB Fastrac tractor. It was also towed by a Volkswagen Touareg in a 2006 Fifth Gear episode, the same year that the modified aircraft and Dunsfold Airfield were featured in a television advertisement filmed for the Volkswagen Touareg, demonstrating the vehicle's towing ability. In 2008 it featured in an episode of Scrapheap Challenge in which contestants created machines to tow the aircraft.[citation needed] Modifications to the aircraft include the removal of the existing Rolls Royce engines and replacement with twin mount engines, similar to those fitted to aircraft such as the B-52 Heavy Bomber.

The aircraft was a major feature in Primeval on the 18 April 2009, in which it was nearly eaten by a dinosaur.

The plane was also used in the 2009 BBC production of The Day Of The Triffids, in the scene where Bill Masen woke up in its engine nacelle.


In 2006, the owners of Dunsfold Park proposed the construction of a new town with 2,600 homes on the site, a school, health services, public transport and road links to the A281, and an expanded business district.[7] One of the largest construction projects in Surrey, it would result in the closure and replacement of the aerodrome. A project of this kind and size is controversial, resulting in the formation of the STOP Dunsfold Park New Town campaign.

In late 2007, Dunsfold Park Ltd. applied to have their plans for the new town selected as one of Gordon Brown's proposed "eco-towns". On 3 April 2008 Dunsfold Park was denied Eco-town status by the Housing Minister Caroline Flint. According to the Government's press release over 40 applications including Dunsfold Park were rejected "for being undeliverable or not ambitious enough to meet the high environmental and affordability standards set by Government."


  1. ^ Census data
  2. ^ Dunsfold Park - History
  3. ^ a b Beeston, Nicholas; Townsend, Edward (1986-07-03). "Pilot dies testing new jet fighter as buyers watch". The Times (Times Newspapers). 
  4. ^ "BAe cuts 2,200 jobs". BBC News (BBC). 1999-06-24. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  5. ^ "BAE Systems Hawk 50, 60 and 100 Series (United Kingdom)". Retrieved 2008-01-18. [dead link]
  6. ^ Find out about the Surrey Air Ambulance Service
  7. ^ Dunsfold Park New Town - Key Features

Dunsfold - Surrey's Most Secret Airfield by Paul McCue, published by Air Research Publications,1991 ISBN 1-871187-12-5

External links

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