Record Details

NHER Number:11746
Type of record:Monument
Name:Snarehill Airfield

Summary

An airfield, built in World War One, and used as a decoy in World War Two. Various buildings survive from World War One, including a squash court, and many building footprints are visible on aerial photographs, along with extensive areas of bomb craters and guide arrows.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 903 814
Map Sheet:TL98SW
Parish:BRETTENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Constructed 1914 to 18 and used as bombing range 1939 to 45.

In fact in use from 1915 to 1918, and used as a bombing school from 1918.
Is World War II use correct?
During World War One this was one of Britain's largest flying training schools, and a decoy site; K and class.
A bunker survives further west.
See (S1) and (S2), which refers to the site as 'Thetford'.
E. Rose (NAU) 5 July 1982 and 28 February 1986.

Site extended as far west as the Thetford road.
Some buildings remain scattered in trees including a squash court from World War One.
E. Rose (NAU) 15 December 1986.

See RAF air photographs for extensive bombing craters, guide arrows etc.
Parent field was Honington.
D. Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

January 2010. Norfolk NMP.
The extent of the airfield, built in World War One, and clearly used as a decoy in World War Two is visible on aerial photographs (S4-S20).
The evidence for World War One activity on the site is largely confined to an area of military structures and possible bomb craters centred on TL 8965 8130, visible on a photograph from 1923 (S4).
The evidence for use of the site during World War Two is as follows.
Many building footprints are visible within an area of trees to the north of the Thetford Road, in Brettenham, (S15) centred on TL 9057 8245, along with a possible barbed wire rectangular enclosure or structure, measuring approximately 27m by at least 51m, centred on TL 9077 8262. The possible water treatment, or sewerage plant for the site is visible centred on TL 9096 8252.
Two possible anti-aircraft batteries are visible on the area of former heath to the south of Thetford Road, centred on TL 8961 8240 and TL 8952 8045. The gun emplacements were placed in a semi-circular arrangement, a pattern that would indicate the presence of a heavy anti-aircraft artillery battery (HAA). Both the semicircular arrangements have possible command posts in the centre of the arc of guns, and further possible gun pits or command posts are visible at TL 8962 8219 and TL 8947 8043.
An extensive area of bomb craters and bombing markers or guide arrows is visible to the southeast of the airfield during World War Two, centred on TL 9074 8101.
E. Bales (NMP), 24 Jan 2010.

Monument Types

  • BOMB CRATER (World War One - 1914 AD? to 1918 AD?)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War One - 1914 AD? to 1918 AD?)
  • BOMB CRATER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING DECOY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING RANGE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING RANGE MARKER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • HEAVY ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEWAGE WORKS? (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.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Serial: Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk IN Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.. Vol I.
<S2>Monograph: Ellis, P.B. & Williams, P.. 1981. By Jove Biggles!: A Biography of Captain W.E. Johns..
<S3>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England Volume III: Bombing Decoys of WWII.. Vol III. p 92.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Crawford. 1923. NMR TL 8982/1 CCC 8604/3502 13-JUL-1923.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/LA/227 2110-2 17-APR-1945 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1589 1414-6 21-JUN-1946 (TL 8882B, 8981 A, 8982B).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1589 1419-20 21-JUN-46 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1589 3416-7 21-JUN-1946 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 4208-9 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 4293-4 25-OCT-1946 (NHER TL 8981B and 8982A-C).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 4138-9 25-OCT-1946 (NMR).
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 4297-8 25-OCT-1946 (NMR).
<S13>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1972 3132-3 11-APR-1947 (NMR).
<S14>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/651 3254-5 24-APR-1951 (NMR).
<S15>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/651 4252-4 24-APR-1951 (NMR).
<S16>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 82/1307 0046-7 04-OCT-1955 (NMR).
<S17>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1956. RAF 540/1778 0142-3 16-JAN-1956 (NMR).
<S18>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. OS/67065 080-1 27-APR-1967 (NMR).
<S19>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1975. OS/75178 233-4 06-JUN-1975 (NMR).
<S20>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1975. OS/75178 299-300 06-JUN-1975 (NMR).

Related records

54570Parent of: World War Two military camp (Monument)

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