Of all the local attractions this one has to be the closest to Canonbury Antiques - right across the road..
London Colney, Hertfordshire, is home to the de Havilland Aircraft Museum, an aviation museum. The volunteer-operated museum has been established to commemorate the contribution of de Havilland to the British Aviation industry. Apart from several aircraft on display, the museum is one of the well-known locations in England. It has a famous house on location by the name Salisbury Hall.
As of the 9th century, there have been large manor houses on this site. The house currently occupying the house was constructed by James Hoare, a London banker, in 1968. Thus, the house became associated with Nell Gwynne and Charles II, occupants of a cottage next to the bridge linking Salisbury Hall. After passing through various hands, Salisbury Hall was occupied by Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
In 1930, the house was occupied by Sir Nigel Gresley, a manager at London and North Eastern Railway. The mallard, one of the locomotives under him retains the world record for the speed of steam locomotives. The record stands at 203 km/h or 126 mph.
De Havilland Aircraft Company set shop in the building with the design team for the Mosquito occupying the Hall. In the neighboring buildings, the company began to build the E0234/W4050. At that time, a silkworm farm was operational in Nell Gwynne’s cottage. From here, the queen sourced silk for coronation and wedding robes. De Havilland Aircraft Company didn’t last for long and had to vacate the estate in 1947. As a result, the hall was left derelict.
Salisbury Hall was later bought by retired army major Walter Goldsmith, who was happy the role it has played as home to de Havilland in the Second World War. He contacted Havilland at its new home in Hatfield and was the prototype of the Mosquito. After the aircraft had been restored, in 1959, it was accepted by Goldsmith at its original home in Salisbury Hall.
After the prototype Mosquito, other aircrafts displayed here include de Havilland Venom and Vampire in 1968. Another de Havilland Mosquito was added in 1970 after a donation from Liverpool Corporation. The aircraft had been used in Mosquito Squadron, a film.
Other aircrafts added later include Chipmunk, Dove, Sea Vixen, Sea Venom, and Vampire in 1978. Earlier, in 1976, the museum had received a Mosquito FB6 fuselage. Here, you will also find a Havilland Comet 1 (the first jetliner in the world) fuselage. Since it hosts several de Havilland aircraft, it is the largest museum in the world dedicated to just one manufacturer.
(Above photo - It doesnt get much closer - just across the road from Canonbury Antiques )
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30 to 17.00. The last person is admitted at 16.00. On Mondays, the museum is closed to the public. Individuals are groups that can visit the museum. In the case of groups, they have to make prior arrangements, especially if they hope for guided tours. You can reach the museum using a number 84 bus from Barnet or St. Albans High Street. Or, you could use a train to Potters Bar Railway Station, from which there is a driveway to the museum.
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