Record Details

NHER Number:54691
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two activity, including a Prisoner of War camp, in Kimberley Park

Summary

Evidence of World War Two military activity, including a Prisoner of War camp, is visible as extant structures and earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1946. All the features lie within the eastern portion of Kimberley Park (NHER 30466), which was presumably requisitioned during the war. The Prisoner of War camp, sited under trees along the drive approaching Kimberley House, comprised various huts, gardens and sports fields, presumably for the use of the prisoners as well as the guards. To its north, and more widely spread across the park, is evidence of military training activity, in the form of recently excavated weapons pits and areas of disturbed ground. These were presumably created by troops stationed at the camp, although use of the area by other groups, such as the Home Guard, cannot be ruled out. A number of other World War Two sites in the area – a spigot mortar emplacement north of Kimberley village (NHER 54654) and a firing range just outside the southern boundary of the park (NHER 54655) – may have been in use by the same groups.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 0922 0484
Map Sheet:TG00SE
Parish:WYMONDHAM, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

March 2012. Norfolk NMP.
Evidence of World War Two military activity, including a Prisoner of War camp, is visible as extant structures and earthworks on aerial photographs (S1)-(S2). All the features lie within the eastern portion of Kimberley Park (NHER 30466), with the centre of the Prisoner of War camp at TG 0938 0483.
The camp, sited under trees along the drive approaching Kimberley House, comprised various huts, gardens and sports fields, presumably for the use of the prisoners as well as the guards. It is known from documentary records that it was known as Camp 132, that it housed Italian prisoners, and that it may have remained in use up until 1938 (NMR TG 00 SE 44). The photographs suggest that it was certainly still in use in 1946. The huts, gardens and playing fields appear to extend westwards along the drive as far as Kimberley House itself. They include a formal garden (at TG 0940 0485), a common feature of Prisoner of War camps (Roger Thomas, English Heritage, pers. comm.), a football pitch and a tennis court.
More widely dispersed across the park, but particularly concentrated to the north of the camp, is evidence of military training activity, in the form of recently excavated weapons pits, emplacements and areas of disturbed ground. These were presumably created by troops stationed at the camp, although use of the area by other groups, such as the Home Guard, cannot be ruled out. As well as the more densely used areas to the north of the camp, which like the camp itself are mapped only by extent, the other features comprise an isolated weapons pit or emplacement to the east of the camp (at TG 0971 0493), another, or a crater, to the northwest (at TG 0906 0496), a roofless rectangular structure (latrines or a cess pit?) further to the west (at TG 0887 0494), and an isolated weapons pit or emplacement on the lawn in front of Kimberley House (at TG 0894 0466). The latter earthwork would appear to be inconsiderately sited if dug merely for training purposes, so a genuine defensive role or some other essential purpose can be suggested.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 14 March 2012.

Monument Types

  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1946 AD)
  • PRISONER OF WAR CAMP (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1948 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/52 5240-2 31-JAN-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1429 3128-30 16-APR-1946 (NMR).

Related records

30466Part of: Kimberley Park (Monument)
54654Related to: Site of probable World War Two spigot mortar emplacement (Monument)
54655Related to: Site of World War Two firing range (Monument)
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