Building record MYO2193 - Former ROC Building, Knavesmire Road


Brick built used by the Observer Corps from 1943 to 1961. A relic of the last war and the Cold War. Now useful to the community as a sports changing room. Nominated for inclusion on the Local List of Heritage Assets. Demolished 2016.


Grid reference Centred SE 5932 5065 (27m by 33m)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

NMR Information

Full description
Royal Observer Corps Building, Knavesmire Road. Purpose built headquarters of 10 Group Royal Observer Corps who moved to the building in 1942. The building was occupied by the ROC until they moved to the new bunker headquarters in Acomb in 1961. At the time of the survey in 2008 the building was in use as a base and changing rooms for a local football team. The building is constructed of brick, concrete and breeze block; it comprises a centrally placed two-storey brick operations room, flanked on three sides by pre-fabricated concrete single storey blocks incorporating dormitories, ablutions blocks and various offices and engine rooms.

The building was assessed for listing in 2008, but didn't meet the criteria for addition to the list for the following reasons:
1/ It has suffered the loss of its central operations room which characterised this type of building.
2/ It has undergone other significant internal and external modification.
3/ While it possesses some historic interest for its former role as an ROC HQ, this is insufficient to compensate for the level of alteration to the fabric of the building.
4/ It has little architectural interest and is of standardised plan, construction and materials. (1)

1 English Heritage Listing File. Case files created by English Heritage for buildings being considered for Listed Building status.

Information derived from Subterranea Britannica

Opened in 1943 and closed in 1961. On common land on the east side of Knavesmire Road.

Two groups were formed in 1937, 9 Group covering the North Riding of Yorkshire and 10 Group covering the East Riding of Yorkshire and northern part of Lincolnshire. In the reorganisation of 1953 the Northern part of 10 Group was attached to 9 Group and redesigned 20 Group while the remaining southern part was attached to Leeds and redesigned 18 Group (Yeadon). In the re-organisation of 1968 18 Group was disbanded, its territory covering the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire was transferred to 20 Group (York) while that in North Lincolnshire transferred to 15 Group (Lincoln). The northern posts of the previous 20 Group transferred to 23 Group (Durham).

Two purpose built prefabricated buildings, one for 10 Group and the other for 9 (later 20) Group were constructed in 1943. They were on common land at Knavesmire on the south side of York and were 100 yards apart. The Group Control for 10 Group was operational from 1943 - 1953 and that for 9⁄20 Group was operational from 1943 - 1961. A new protected control centre was opened at Acomb in December 1961. 10 Group Control has been demolished but 9⁄20 Group Control still stands and was used as a changing room by the Hamilton Panthers Rugby Club.

NMR, NMR data (Unpublished document). SYO2214.

2011, ROC Building Knavesmire Road (Unpublished document). SYO1328.

2012, ROC Knavesmire Building Plans (Unpublished document). SYO1650.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Unpublished document: 2011. ROC Building Knavesmire Road.
  • --- Unpublished document: 2012. ROC Knavesmire Building Plans.
  • --- Unpublished document: NMR. NMR data.

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 10 2020 12:23PM


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