Flookburgh was chosen as a safe place to build airships during the First World War: and Ravenstown was built to house the workers.
In 1917 work began to build an airship station, with 250 houses for staff, at Flookburgh, for Vickers of Barrow in Furness. A branch line to bring in building material was constructed from the railway line between Lancaster and Barrow that passes close by, and on 27 March 1917 work began on Flookburgh Model Aero Village The house designs adopted were already being built at Inchinnan, near Glasgow, another airship station. By the end of 1917 nearly 120 houses had been completed.
However, the airship shed project that had started in July 1917 was cancelled by the Government in September 1917, because of the difficulty in obtaining steel to build the large shed needed for the construction of the airship. The steel was needed urgently elsewhere, so plans to build the remaining houses were postponed. The railway line was removed when the project was abandonned.
The housing estate, now known as Ravenstown, is located on raised land to the south west of Flookburgh village.
For more information on Ravenstown, see this link
Diary at Cumbria Record Office, Barrow ref Z/1011/1/2 Flookburgh Aerodrome; diary and borehole schedule
Text and photo by Pat Rowland