Record Details

NHER Number:17785
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War decoy airfield structure

Summary

A site visit in 1981 confirmed the presence of a structure on this site. It was composed of a nissen-hut-like structure with an entrance in the east end, and a cross-passage of brick off-centre. There are spyholes in the west wall, and other holes and stove bases on the east wall. The whole structure was situated under a large mound of earth, some 4.6m high, and resembles bunkers along the north coastal ridge at Kelling. This has been identified as a probable shelter associated with the decoy airfield at Suffield (NHER 14980). Recent images suggest the shelter has been destroyed.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2395 3264
Map Sheet:TG23SW
Parish:SUFFIELD, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Pill box.
Aligned east-to-west. Composed of a nissen-hut like structure with entrance in east end, and a cross-passage of brick off centre with door to north. Spyholes in west wall, other holes (chimneys?) and stove bases on east. Under a large mound of earth 15ft (4.6m) high. Resembles bunkers along north coastal ridge at Kelling etc.
Visit and compiled by E. Rose (NAU), 26 November 1981.

October 2013.
It is likely that this was the shelter associated with the decoy airfield at Suffield (NHER 14980) which was constructed to lure night bombers from RAF Coltishall. The description given above matches the specification for a 367/41 shelter (information from S1) which were constructed on Drem Q decoy sites such as that at Suffield. Shelters provided accomodation and protection for the operating crew, housed the generators powering the lights and provided communications, through a telephone line to the parent station. Shelters were placed 400 yds (365 m) from the flarepath which was aligned SW-NE.

The specification for this type of shelter was issued in September 1941 to accompany the new Drem layouts which required an extra generator to power the larger number of lights. The new design addressed flooding problems encountered by its predecessor by locating the shelter above ground and covering with earth. The shelters had three rooms; an engine room housing two generators set on concrete engine beds, an operating room with a telephone, control panel and stove with an extra entrance, and an entrance passageway linking these two. The shelter has staged external expansion chambers linked to the engine room by pipework to prevent external generator noise and a headlamp platform on its roof. Both entrances were protected by external blast walls.The shelters were constructed from brick, concrete and corrugated iron.
Google Earth imagery suggests the shelter has been destroyed, although this is unclear.
K. Powell (HES), 2 October 2013.

Monument Types

  • ACCOMMODATION HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • UNDERGROUND MILITARY HEADQUARTERS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England. Vol III.

Related records - none

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