Record Details

NHER Number:13621
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War One airfield


A landing ground, airfield and training depot from 1915, and the largest First World War aerodrome in the United Kingdom. Closed in 1919, the hangar remained until it was blown down in 1977. The small building left on the site is now used as a YMCA. Two hangars may survive in use elsewhere.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 746 104
Map Sheet:TF71SW

Full description

Naval landing ground 1915; military airfield and summer camp 1916.
Training depot 1917-18.
Information from Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.

For detailed account of operations as overflow training ground for Thetford, and personnel buried in parish church yard, see (S1).
Closed 1919.
Hangar remained until blown down 1977.
Small building still on site. See (S2).
E. Rose (NAU), 3 August 1983.

Report on suitability of field for Handley Pages 1918 in file.

The small remaining building is the YMCA. Copy in file of reference (S3) which extends area greatly from that previously marked, but note that author was clearly unaware of reference (S1).
The two sheds still marked on 1:10,000 Ordnance Survey map at Battles Farm at northwest corner are shown under construction on RAF air photograph 091 of 1917, a copy of which is at NLA.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 July 1996.

The largest WWI aerodrome in Britain, bar four airship stations, covering 908 acres of land. At its peak it was serviced by over 1000 personnel and was the base for several squadrons flying sorties to France and the defence of the east coast from zeppelin attack. There was also a small POW camp on site but it is thought that this was removed before 1918.
NIAS records (S4)
W. Arnold HES 17/01/11

It is said that two buildings (hangars) from the site survive elsewhere; a furniture warehouse in Terrington and the East Coast Motors Garage in Cromer.
D. Gurney (HES), 14 April 2014.

Monument Types

  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF 7410A, RFC 091.
---Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1918. Report on the following aerodromes re their suitability for use by the V type HP and other similar machines: Pulham, Narborough, Bircham Newton, Sedgeford.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Publication: Ellis and Williams. 1982. By Jove Biggles: A Biography of Capt. W.E. Johns.
<S2>Article in Serial: 1973. Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. vol 4.
<S3>Unpublished Report: Turner, D. E. 1986. Two West Norfolk Airfields in The Great War. Narborough and Marham.
<S4>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.

Related records - none

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