Record Details

NHER Number:50997
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two activity within Sprowston Park

Summary

Within the site of Sprowston Park (NHER 30522), several areas of activity during World War Two have been highlighted, from aerial photographs of the period, including a rifle range, areas of practice trenches, an earthwork bank and ditch, and several nissen huts, presumably for accommodation of troops.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2604 1265
Map Sheet:TG21SE
Parish:SPROWSTON, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

October 2008. Norfolk NMP.
Within the site of Sprowston Park (NHER 30522), several areas of activity during World War Two have been observed from aerial photographs of the period (S1)-(S7) including a rifle range, areas of practice trenches, an earthwork bank and ditch, and several nissen huts, presumably for accommodation of troops. The character of the site appears to have been involved with the training of troops, as the features described below would suggest. It has also been reported that Sprowston Manor was the headquarters of GOC Eastern Command (NHER 8159), although this information has not been confirmed.
There appears to be a number of practice trenches to the south of Sprowston Manor itself, centred at TG 2614 1253 (S2)-(S3), which were backfilled by early 1947 (S4). They were situated within the area of an archaeological evaluation carried out by the NAU (NHER 36799). A further area of disturbed ground to the north of the park at TG 2579 1271 was also visible on contemporary photos (S2), and has been tentatively identified as a further practice trench area.
To the west of Sprowston Manor itself, at TG 2586 1259, a shooting range was visible, as an excavated ditch with semi-circular reinforced wall at its southern end (S1) and (S5), and this was filled in by 1951 (S7).
The accommodation for this site appears to have been in the form of three groups of nissen huts, situated at TG 2594 8193 (S3)-(S4) TG 2612 1271 and TG 2619 1269 (S2), (S3) & (S6), although the most western group of huts may have had a separate function, as there are two pairs of huts surrounded by blast walls, as well as other related structures in the vicinity, and a possible slit trench located at TG 2596 1264. A further ancillary concrete structure was visible (S2), partially obscured by trees at TG 2613 1279. A football pitch was also visible (S2), to the south of the manor itself, centred at TG 2620 1262, presumably for the use of the troops stationed here.
To the east of the accommodation huts, a linear bank feature with intermittent ditches on either side was visible, running north-south from TG 2625 1279 to TG 2629 1263, as a relatively fresh-looking earthwork (S2)-(S3) on the aerial photographs, and, as it was not recorded on the historic maps of the area (S8)-(S9), it seems possible that this earthwork was related to World War Two activity at the site. The bank was levelled by 1947 (S6), which further suggests that it was a temporary feature relating to the World War Two activity here.
E. Bales (NMP), 4 November 2008.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BLAST WALL (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • DITCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • FIRING RANGE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • NISSEN HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PRACTICE TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • RIFLE BUTTS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7GR/LOC348 2194-5 27-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/483 6011-13 06-JUL-1945 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1254 6017-8 20-MAR-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2019 5100-1 18-APR-1947 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2019 5101-2 18-APR-1947 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2050 5007-08 06-MAY-1947 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF/58/695 5042-43 26-MAY-1951 (NMR).
<S8>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889 - 1891. Ordnance Survey first edition 6 inch map.. 1:10,560.
<S9>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902 - 1907. Ordnance Survey second edition 25" (1902 - 1907).

Related records

8159Part of: Sprowston Hall (Building)
30522Part of: Sprowston Park (Monument)
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