A lecture by Wayne Cocroft (Historic England). The vital contribution of research facilities and infrastructure required to deploy high–tech defence systems is often neglected in the history of technology. Surviving test sites stand not only as monuments to past scientific endeavours, but when analysed archaeologically provide valuable insights into testing regimes. Sometimes the physical remains represent unique primary records, while in other examples it is possible to link them to documentary sources and oral testimonies. Wayne Cocroft’s paper discusses the German lineage in the design of post-war British rocket test sites and places associated with development of this country’s indigenous missile programmes, including the Blue Streak intermediate range ballistic missile. It also explores the infrastructure of missile deployment sites and reviews efforts to protect and present some of the most significant historic rocket and missile sites.