AN historic watchtower once used to monitor aircraft movement during the First World War has been relocated to a museum in Hendon.

The Claude Grahame-White Watchtower has been moved from Beaufort Park to the RAF Museum in Grahame Park Way and celebrated its official handover on Monday.

The watchtower dates to 1911, when it was used as a control tower alongside the neighbouring aircraft factory where aeroplanes were built during the war.

The watchtower has been relocated brick by brick and pieced back together using as many original materials as possible to maintain the 1911 original, including internal finishes such as the staircases.

Ross Faragher is the managing director of St George, the company which administered the reconstruction, and he invited Air Marshal Richard Garwood to unveil a plaque in honour of the handover.

Mr Garwood said: “I think this is an important project because it will bring the name of Claude Grahame-White, who perhaps has been forgotten, to this generation and future generations to come.

“He was a great pioneer of aviation who recognised the utility of the airplane for military and commercial use.”

The Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Anthony Finn said: “I am delighted with the building – it is a credit to the community and enhances the borough’s reputation.

“I look forward to it being used for children and their education and I also look forward to any future developments on the site.”

The watchtower will exhibit displays on the life of Claude-Grahame White, the history of the Hendon Aerodrome and visitors can see such aircraft as the Sopwith Triplane and the famous SE5-A fighter from the First World War.

The upper floor also features a recreation of Claude Grahame-White’s office including an original trophy commemorating him for his flights from London to Lichfield in 1910.