Can you help find the lost Bentra Aerodrome?


Help is being sought in unearthing the secrets of Bentra airfield as part of a new partnership between Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Queen’s University.

The Battlebags team will be conducting field research this Friday, August 17, from 11am-3pm. This will include field walking, GPS and ground penetrating radar.

It is part of efforts to find the hangar for the airship and possibly the huts where the pilots used to stay.

The workshop will be delivered in partnership with Living Legacies, based at Queen’s University Belfast.

All information gathered by the participants will be added to the online defence heritage project.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project aims to look back at Ireland’s first military aviation facility and log memorabilia from past generations for the future ones.

During WWI, Royal Naval Air Service airships based at Bentra, patrolled the waters between Ireland and Scotland to combat the German U-Boats. They were tasked with protecting the cross channel ferry, Princess Maud, and guard incoming convoys in the North Channel.

Affectionately named ‘battlebags’ by their crews, and ‘blimps’ by civilians, the airships were a familiar sight around Britain's shores during the war years 1914-1918.

The data collected from this workshop will then help shape an exhibition launching in October at Carrickfergus Museum.

This project also ties in with the Fields in Trust Centenary Fields programme, marking the protection of our green spaces and WWI locations.

If you would like any further information or would like to take part please contact the Project Coordinator, Laura Patrick on 02893358247 or

For more information go to