Record Details

NHER Number:25240
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cranwich Camp


The derelict site of a 1930s labour camp. With the onset of World War Two it was reused as a military camp.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 774 942
Map Sheet:TL79SE

Full description

Labour camp 1935-9. Erected by Ministry of Labour to house unemployed from northern England. Mostly Nissen huts, still standing but derelict.
E. Rose (NAU) 10 April 1989.

One of four labour camps set up in the Breckland area during the inter war years (the others were at West Tofts, High Lodge and Weeting). They were designed to 'harden' those who became unemployed as a result of the decline in industry, and to provide employment opportunities. Cranwich camp was purpose built, and run in a military style. Inmates did not attend voluntarily; their dole money was stopped if they refused to go. Work consisted of manual labour, such as road building, quarrying and forestry work.
By all accounts, conditions were tough and unpleasant, and there are accounts of occasional riots and mutiny. This social experiment came to an end with the onset of World War Two, when the employment situation was alleviated, and all the labour camps were reused for military purposes. Some of the original buildings may still exist, but they were generally replaced by military structures.
Information from (S1).
P. Aldridge (NLA), 14 September 2005.

February 2011. Metal-detecting, monitoring and GPS survey.
The survey recovered 58 small finds including three medieval coins, three military buttons, one Great Western Railway button and an implement for cleaning uniforms. The foundation of a concrete building slab was recorded, as well as traces of several other structures including Nissen huts. A post-medieval pottery fragment and later prehistoric flints were also recovered.
See (S2).
S. Howard (HES), 21 December 2011.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • MILITARY CAMP (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • NISSEN HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1158 AD to 1180 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1250 AD to 1280 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUTTON (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLING BULLET (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: 2005. Eastern Daily Press. 15 February.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Publication: Sussams, K.. 1996. The Breckland Archaeological Survey.
<S2>Unpublished document: Brooks, R.. 2011. Suffolk County Council Archaeological Services Report No. 2011/114. Archaeological monitoring report for bare ground creation plots, Cranwich Camp, Cranwich, Norfolk.. November.

Related records - none

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