Maastricht Memorial Stone, Biggin Hill
Restoration of the Maastricht Memorial Stone
The Maastricht Stone is a poignant symbol of the friendship between the Netherlands and Britain in WWII and important to the spirit and purpose of the RAF Chapel of Remembrance. It is located in the Garden of Remembrance and was gifted from the people of the Netherlands to commemorate the assistance given by the RAF at Biggin Hill to the Dutch Resistance during WWII. Three hundred Dutch airmen managed to flee to Britain after the Netherlands was invaded in May 1940. Dutch Squadron 322 flew from Biggin Hill and is remembered on the Chapel Reredos. The Garden of Remembrance used to be stocked each year with Dutch tulips, gifted by the Netherlands to honour their nation’s relationship with RAF Biggin Hill.
The Maastricht Stone is likely to be a piece of Maastricht limestone, a building material quarried and mainly used in the Belgian and Dutch provinces of Limburg. It is a relatively soft, highly pure limestone.
Before HOLT’s restoration project, the stone was in reasonably poor condition. It had overall surface soiling with moss, algae, lichens and a general covering of dust and debris. HOLT removed the stone for offsite cleaning and repair and then repositioned it on stone blocks in a more prominent position.