Longcross Studios - History
Based around Barrowhills Mansion, the former Chobham Common was requisitioned for military use in July 1942 for a tank factory and test track for tanks. The local residents failed to get the tank factory removed in 1947 and in 1950 plans were hatched to make the test track a permanent fixture.
The site is world famous for developing and testing tanks and other military vehicles. Chobham Armour, tough protection for tanks, was invented there in the early 1970s.
Several hundred people once worked at the establishment.
Various defence agencies have run the site, including the Fighting Vehicles Defence and Research Establishment (FVRDE) and the Military Vehicles Engineering Establishment (MVEE). QinetiQ inherited it from the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA).
The facility was bought from QinetiQ in 2004 by a consortium headed by Crest Nicholson PLC.