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The History of Brooklands

History in the making

Developed by wealthy landowner Hugh Locke King in 1907 Brooklands was the first purpose built motor racing circuit in the world. It has been known ever since as a world renowned centre of technology and engineering excellence and has become synonymous with major events in British aviation and motor sport history. These include;

  • Construction and opening of the world’s first purpose built motor racing circuit
  • First powered flight in a British built aeroplane
  • World land speed record was broken for the first time at Brooklands
  • First British Grand Prix
  • First flight of a Hawker Hurricane
  • First flight of a Vickers VC 10
  • First around the world flight by a microlite started and finished at Brooklands

The history of Brooklands is celebrated at the impressive Brooklands Museum located adjacent to The Heights.

image Brooklands Museum
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It was at Brooklands that the first flight in a British-built aeroplane was made in 1908.

The heyday

The heyday of the racing circuit was undoubtedly in the 1920s and 1930s when record times were being set and broken by Malcom Campbell, John Cobb and others in such magnificently crafted machines as the Napier, Delage, Panhard, Bently and Bugatti.

It was at Brooklands that AV Roe made the first flight in a British built aeroplane in 1908; here that Tommy Sopwith developed and flew his Sopwith Pup and Camel; and here that the Hawker Hurricane fighter and Vickers Wellington bomber were built in World War II.

The post war years were distinguished by the achievements of the Vickers factry which produced a successful family of airliners including the Viscount and VC10 and contributed to the design and manufacture of Concorde.

Race cars

Moving forwards

Brooklands is evolving once again and is becoming one of the leading business destinations in the south west of England.

The Mercedes Benz facility is adjacent and offers hi tech conferencing facilities, a sales arena and test track facilities and the nearby Brooklands Hotel boasts a Meeting and Event space perfect for corporate events or a sophisticated conference venue.

Brooklands Mercedes Benz World
Brooklands Brooklands Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey. Image: Ian McWilliams/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
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