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The Swan Your Traditional Pub at the Heart of the Village

2 Court Rd, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0DR

Tel: 01234 757689


at Cranfield

Dog Friendly Pub

Cranfield is perfectly located for a number of nearby attractions. During May there is the nearby annual Stoke Goldington Steam Rally. Silverstone Racing Circuit, famous for the British Grand Prix, is nearby as is the Xscape indoor ski slope and leisure complex adjacent to thecentre:mk at Milton Keynes.

Local Attractions and Local History

RAF Cranfield was built on 100 acres (0.40 km2) of farmland acquired by the Air Ministry in 1935 as Britain re-armed to face the growing threats on the continent. It was formally opened on 1 June 1937 and initially became the base for No. 62 Squadron RAF and No. 82 Squadron RAF of No. 1 (Bomber) Group, flying the already obsolescent Hawker Hind biplanes.

Both squadrons converted to Blenheim 1s in 1938. 62 Squadron was moved to Singapore in August 1939 where it was destroyed by the invading Japanese. RAF Cranfield's grass airstrip was replaced with three hardened runways in the winter of 1939 and spring of 1940 and became a target for enemy action in the late summer of that year, with mines, bombs and incendiaries dropped on it and the nearby village of Cranfield.

Aircraftsman Vivian Hollowday, serving at the airfield, won the George Cross for the attempted rescue of two crews which crashed there in July and August 1940.

August 1941 saw the fast developing station become a night fighter training centre with the arrival of No. 51 Night fighter Operational Training Unit. This was disbanded after the end of the war in Europe in June 1945 and the airfield became the site for a new College of Aeronautics. This college helped develop the highly successful Harrier Jump Jet and has serviced the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The UK's sole remaining airworthy Avro Lancaster was based at Cranfield until 1964

The theme running through Cranfield’s 60-year history is a commitment to and passion for applied research which makes a difference to the world in the fields of science, technology and management.

The forerunner of Cranfield University was the College of Aeronautics, created in 1946 and based at the RAF station in Cranfield. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the development of many aspects of aircraft research and design led to considerable growth and diversification into other technologies and into manufacturing and management.

In 1969, the College of Aeronautics became The Cranfield Institute of Technology incorporated by Royal Charter with full degree-awarding powers, and new departments were set up to cover the work in the new subject areas, such as the Cranfield School of Management.

The last thirty years have seen further substantial progress, including an academic partnership with the Defence Academy, UK, at Shrivenham in Wiltshire. The result is that Cranfield has grown to become the largest centre in Europe for applied research, development and design.

RAF Cranfield and Cranfield University