Record Details

NHER Number:9068
Type of record:Monument
Name:Snetterton and Eccles Road Airfields

Summary

The large World War Two airfield at Snetterton is now used for motor racing. Several of the runways remain along with a single hangar, Romney huts and a water tower. This airfield was built in 1942-3 for the USAAF 96th Bombardment Group who used it until 1946. A subsidiary airfield northwest of the A11 known as Eccles Road was used as a USAAF base to repair Flying Fortresses. Numerous buildings on these two sites have either been incorporated into industrial estates or have been proposed for demolition. Aerial photographs reveal the extent of the airfield and the dispersed accommodation areas.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 007 899
Map Sheet:TM08NW
Parish:QUIDENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
SNETTERTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

WWII.

April 1979.
Now used for motor racing, some of the main runways remain for this purpose, but all of dispersal areas west of A11 gone; except for one hangar in use for industry, several nissen huts (recently reroofed), bunkers and concrete chimneys from huts, also the water tower.
E. Rose (NAU) 11 April 1979.

In fact the area northwest of the A11 was considered a separate airfield, known as Eccles Road. It was a USAF base to repair Flying Fortresses but there were not enough for it to work.
1944-5 Troop Carrier Command.
945-8 storage.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NAU) 3 August 1981.

History of main base given in (S2).
Built 1942-3 USAAF 96th Bombardment Group until 1946 when used as RAF storage until 1948.
E. Rose (NLA) 3 March 1993.

19 April 1976. OS aerial photography.
Parchmark cropmarks.
Airfield, marks of runways and dispersal areas.
D. Edwards (NLA) 10 January 1995.

January 2003.
Eccles Road airfield revisited in advance of planning application.
The hangar noted in 1979 remains amongst new buildings (A on plan in file); the Romney huts (wrongly called Nissen huts above) at B on plan survive in considerable number, used as an industrial estate, as does the adjacent water tower. The chimneys and bunkers noted in 1979 seem to have gone. Three Romney huts at C on plan will be demolished for the development and were photographed. Their relationship to removed buildings can be seen on 1946 aerial photograph (S1). Apart from a concrete area to the east of these, all other dispersal areas, runways etc were removed soon after 1948.
There is also an isolated Romney hut some distance to the north at TM 0041 9135, the history of which is unknown.
Photographs of huts at TM 0017 9043 in file.
E. Rose (NLA) 17 January 2003.

Photographs of curved-asbestos-huts at TM 0032 9083, (B on above mentioned plan) also to be demolished, see (S3) now in file.
E. Rose (NLA) 11 October 2004.

Buildings at TM 0113 8986 have housed an industrial paint company since 1980. Between wartime use and 1980, they had been used for agricultural use, primarily pig farming. The wartime structures consist of a bomb sight store, a hut, a link trainer building, a photographic block, an AM bombing teacher, an instructional building, and a technical latrine.
See (S4) for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 04 April 2008.

For further information on the operational history of the airfield and photographs of remaining buildings, see (S5).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 13 January 2010.

February 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Aerial photographs (S6)-(S35) confirm the extreme dispersal of some of the sub-sites of Snetterton Airfield, hence it being known as ‘Snetterton Heath and Eccles’ (S5), p.99. It can be seen still under construction in 1942 (S6-S9).The airfield was heavily defended, with several spigot mortar emplacements (NHER 53396, 53397 and 53398) and at least two Light Anti Aircraft emplacements (NHER 53399).
The sewage works for the site is visible to the south east of the airfield, and still extant, centred on TG 0104 8819. A second sewage works to the west, which may also have served the airfield and is no longer extant, was centred on TL 9950 9190 (S27).
Accommodation areas consisting of clusters of Nissen huts are visible to the south east centred on TM 0122 8882, TM 0129 8843, TM0170 8844 and TM 0158 8878.
Further clusters of huts are visible even further east, at TM 0202 8857, TM 0232 8855, TM 0256 8857, TM 0215 8895 and TM 0167 8898.
Accommodation huts to the north west (Eccles area) are centred on TL 9971 9069, TL 9972 9096, TM 0021 9123 and TM 0031 9143. The huts were removed from this area, but the building footprints are still visible on (S31) and (S35). There is also an area of possible operations buildings in this area (S11).
The Rifle butts are clearly visible on (S24), as a curvilinear bank centred on TL 9999 8902. An ILS Beacon is also visible centred at TL 9957 8895.
A T2 Hangar is visible to the south of the runway centred on TM 0056 8908 and another appears to be visible to the north of the technical site, centred on TM 0107 9017.
The airfield was allocated for USAAF use in 1943. Its USAAF designation was Station 138, Station-ID "SN". At one stage, it was planned to add an air depot, known as Eccles on the northern side of the airfield, access being across the A11. Four additional T-2 hangars were constructed on this site, centred around TM 0039 9040. Apparently a reduction in the number of heavy bombers being sent to the UK led to this depot becoming surplus to Eighth Air Force requirements and construction was stopped before all facilities were completed.
Slit or practice trenches and other traces of airfield are visible continuing to the north-east as far as TG0150 9027 on (S27)
Several clusters of airfield defences are also visible on aerial photographs, to the south of the airfield (S14) and in other areas (NHER 53396-9).
E. Bales (NMP), 11 February 2010.

Monument Types

  • AIRCRAFT HANGAR (TYPE T2) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT HANGAR (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (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)
  • SEWAGE WORKS (World War Two to Modern - 1939 AD to 2050 AD)
  • SPIGOT MORTAR EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WATER TOWER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: Rose, E.. 2003. KHW 11-13.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Serial: Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk. Vol III.
<S2>Article in Serial: 1973. Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. Part 1. vol 7 p 16.
<S3>Photograph: Breckland Council. 2004.
<S4>Correspondence: Riley, J.. 2005. Letter regarding Ripblast-Oakwood Yard, Snetterton-Erection of new steel framed store. 10 March 2005.
<S5>Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 97-99.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF/FNO/26 (FP) 1075-7 27-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF/FNO/26 (FP) 1080-3 27-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF/FNO/58 6070-1 21-JUL-1942 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF/FNO/58 6073-5 21-JUL-1942 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1943. US/7PH/GP/LOC66 5034-6 18-OCT-1943 (NMR).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1943. US/7PH/GP/LOC276 5036-7 18-OCT-1943 (NMR).
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1943. US/7PH/GP/LOC276 5040-4218-OCT-1943 (NMR).
<S13>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC276 5040-2 18-APR-1944 (NMR).
<S14>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/59 5081-3 05-FEB-1946 (NMR).
<S15>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/101 6250-1 30-MAR-1946 (NMR).
<S16>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2377-8 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S17>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4372-5 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S18>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 3103-7 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S19>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 3155-8 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S20>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 4156-8 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S21>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 4103-7 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S22>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 4083-8 25-OCT-1946 (NMR).
<S23>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1918 3168-9 09-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S24>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 3062-6 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S25>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 4015-6 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S26>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 4040-3 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S27>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 4062-6 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S28>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1950. RAF/540/432 5087-89 11-OCT-1950 (NMR).
<S29>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1960. RAF/543/T/899 (F22) 0049 05-MAY-1960 (NMR).
<S30>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1970. RAF/58/0475 0125-7 05-MAY-1970 (NMR).
<S31>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70281 022-3 31-JUL-1970 (NMR).
<S32>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1975. OS/75177 53-4 06-JUN-1975 (NMR).
<S33>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1976. OS/76017 1-2 19-APR-1976 (NMR).
<S34>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Derek A. Edwards. 1989. NHER TM0090A-C (NLA 223/DHR3-5) 15-JUN-1989.
<S35>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1996. OS/70281 014-5 31-JUL-1996 (NMR).

Related records

57451Parent of: Airfield defence post, or spigot mortar emplacement related to Snetterton airfield (NHER 9068) (Monument)
57450Parent of: Area of Nissen huts, related to Snetterton airfield NHER 9068 (Monument)
57463Parent of: At least six possible bomb craters to the west of Snetterton airfield NHER 9068 (Monument)
53396Parent of: Five dispersed World War Two defences/spigot mortar emplacements related to Snetterton Airfield 9068 (Monument)
57488Parent of: Possible World War Two structure or compound (Monument)
53397Parent of: Two World War Two defences/spigot mortar emplacements related to Snetterton Airfield (Monument)
53398Parent of: Two World War Two defences/spigot mortar emplacements related to Snetterton Airfield (Monument)
53399Parent of: Two World War Two Light Anti Aircraft defences, one of which may have been previously recorded as NHER 29961 (Monument)
57464Parent of: Two World War Two spigot mortar emplacements/airfield defence posts (Monument)
29961Parent of: World War Two gun positions (Monument)
57508Parent of: World War Two High Frequency Direction Finding Station related to Snetterton airfield NHER 9068 (Monument)
57438Parent of: World War Two spigot mortar emplacement/airfield defence post (Monument)
57479Parent of: World War Two structures of possible searchlight site and related trackway (Monument)
57476Parent of: World War Two structures, probably related to Snetterton airfield NHER 9068, possible direction-finding station. (Monument)
29635Parent of: World War Two Type 22 pillbox (Monument)

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