Coventry Rocket Development Test Site

Blast walls of rocket motor test stand. | Image courtesy of Tim Heenan
Blast walls of rocket motor test stand.
Image courtesy of Tim Heenan
Description of this historic site

Site of the Coventry Rocket Development Test facilities west of Ansty Airfield (now Ansty Business Park). Cold War site active between 1945-1971.

Notes about this historic site

1 After the Second World War examples of the German V2 Rockets were brought to what was then Armstrong
Siddley at Ansty, which is now Rolls Royce Ansty. This became the start of the Coventry Rocket Industry
on 22nd October 1945. Rocket development and tests continued until 1971.
2 Aerial photographs from the 1980s show substantial remains of the site.
3 A site visit by Tim Heenan revealed a number of remains of the rocket test site in the area including blast walls, rocket exhaust cooling water pipes, pieces of metal work from rocket motor gantries, control rooms and perimiter fencing.
3 Plans of the Rocket Test facility show a number of details including Passilation Dept, Workshop blocks, Coppersmiths Dept, Test Cell, Auxillary Test Cells, Sub-stations, Peroxide Soakaways, Gate House, Pump House, pond and earthworks.
At the north end of the site a Vertical Rocket area is marked on the plan with a more detailed plan showing: A Switch Room, 2 – 5000 Gallon HTP (Hydrogen Peroxide) Tanks, an HTP Pumphouse, a Water Pump House, Electronics Control Room, Test cell with Concrete Blast Walls, stairs and a firing platform, a Kerosene Tank and Kerosene Trap, drainage channels and ditches, Observation Mirror and a 2 Ton Capacity Loading Gantry for Nitrogen Oct Handling.
A further plan shows an additional development north of this with a test cell, control room and pump house with drains and soakaways. A workshop and sewage treatment is found to the east behind an earth embankment.
4 Drawing of Coventry Rocket Test Site from the 1950s.
5 Parts of site visible on modern aerial photographs.

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