World War II Airfields
During the Second World War, the countryside of Britain was carpeted with airfields. In Essex there were Royal Air Force (RAF) airfields at Hunsdon, Sawbridgeworth, North Weald and Stansted, and United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bases at Matching Green and Fyfield. The Air Ministry Department of Works had a large depot in the Netteswell Road west of Harlow. Both the 1875 and the 1947 Ordnance Survey maps identify a building north of the Netteswell Road as a laundry. This was originally the laundry for the Mark Hall estate, but it subsequently became a commercial enterprise. Whether it became part of the Air Ministry depot during the war is unknown, but it was certainly within its boundary. The depot, the North Lodge of the Mark Hall estate, Netteswell Road and the track leading south through Mark Hall Park can all be clearly seen in the aerial photo of Old Harlow taken from the west in October 1947.