Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust

The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust was established in 1981 by a small group of employees who took pride in the company's past achievements. The company agreed that action was necessary to ensure that the record of past endeavours was not lost, but circumstances at the time made it difficult to establish a formal Heritage Department.

When the employees proposed the setting up of a Trust as an independent extramural body, the initiative won the full support of the company. Space was found and other services provided, and the Trust began to grow.

To the delight of the small founding band, employees, past as well as present, and other enthusiasts began to join on the company's UK sites at Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Hucknall, Leavesden and in Scotland, at East Kilbride and Hillington. It rapidly became apparent that, with sites not only being geographically distant but also representing different ancestral companies and different product ranges, a headquarter and branch structure was necessary.

By the mid 1980s branches had been established in Bristol, Coventry, Derby - with an allied group at Hucknall, Leavesden and in Scotland.

The objectives of the Trust, its Branch structure, Corporate Heritage Office and publications are to:

* Promote the history and engineering heritage of Rolls-Royce and its ancestral companies
* Advise the company in the preservation of material and on matters concerning the company's history
* Maintain safe custody of materials entrusted to it
* Research, record, arrange displays, and publish books
* Mount lectures on the company's history and engineering heritage
* Act as the company's authority on all matters of preservation of hardware and records for historic purposes and liase externally on these matters

described. What must also be added is that the Trust has never sought direct financial support from the company. Its finances are derived from subscriptions from its world-wide membership and the sale of publications.

Venue Type:

Library, Association or society

Opening hours

Because of its position inside a secure Rolls-Royce Military Aero Engine facility, visits of small parties are welcomed on a prior arrangement only basis.

The Bristol branch owns the heritage of the Bristol Engine Company, its predecessors Brazil Straker and Cosmos Engineering, later the Bristol Siddeley company and, ultimately, the heritage of the site during the Rolls-Royce era. Its display reflects the leadership given to the development of the air-cooled radial piston engine by Sir Roy Fedden, to the development of the gas turbine engine for V/STOL and supersonic flight – including Concorde, by Sir Stanley Hooker and more recently the development of the Pegasus and the RB199 by Gordon Lewis.

In addition, with the disposal of the Leavesden site in North London and the move of its project workload to Bristol, the Bristol branch now incorporates the Leavesden collection.

The Leavesden collection centred on the de Havilland Engine Company’s products and achievements, to a lesser extent on those of Blackburn. De Havilland, like Blackburn had made small piston engines for light aircraft between the wars, but had made great progress in the early days of the gas turbine, ultimately specialising in helicopter engines.

The Bristol branch now houses both these important collections in a new location on the Bristol test site.

The Bristol collection and workshops are housed on the Gypsy Patch test area of the Bristol Facility. The collection ranges from the 390hp Bristol Jupiter, through to today’s Eurojet EJ200 and includes the famous names of radial engines, such as Jupiter, Pegasus, Mercury, Hercules, Centaurus, etc, as well as a comprehensive collection of gas turbines from Theseus to Olympus, Pegasus, EJ200 and JSF engine components.

Collection details

Aviation, Land Transport, Science and Technology

Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust
c/o Brian Whatley
Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust (Bristol Branch)
PO Box 3
City of Bristol
BS34 7QE




0117 979 5494


0117 979 5281

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.