Record Details

NHER Number:3685
Type of record:Monument
Name:West Raynham airfield

Summary

A World War Two airfield, which opened in 1939. The airfield was used by RAF Bomber Command until 1943, and by the Free French in 1944. After the war the airfield was used by Fighter Command, and closed in 1994. The Cold War buildings on the site have been identified as being of national importance, and include an ROC monitoring post, an unusual control tower and a Bloodhound missile site.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 8473 2473
Map Sheet:TF82SW
Parish:HELHOUGHTON, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
RAYNHAM, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

West Raynham airfield. World War Two.
German aerial photograph on display in Battle of Britain Museum, Hendon.
E. Rose (NAU).

Still in use in 1979.
E. Rose (NAU).

(S1) in file.

Very full history in (S2).
Opened 1939.
RAF Bomber Command until 1943, Free French until 1944 when Bomber Support Group 100 took over.
1946 Fighter Command.
E. Rose (NLA) 3 March 1993

(S3) in file by source [1], who adds that at TF 8557 2463 is the original command bunker, later converted to ROC lookout with another such adjacent.
E. Rose (NLA) 10 August 1994.

Base closed 1994.
Gates presented to Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.

World War Two anti aircraft artillery.
See file.
D. Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

(S4) notes that the ROC station (founded 1959, closed 1968) was intended to be inside the Battle HQ, hence the pipes etc but was in effect built to one side. Surface features intact, interior only accesible by rope, vandalised.
Aircraft post also on top of the battle HQ.
E. Rose (NLA) July 2000.

1 October 1996. NLA air photography.
Part of airfield photographed (hangars and hard standing visible plus additional buildings etc).
H. Clare (NLA), 23 October 2001.

2001.
Cold War MPP assessment identifies this as a site of national importance, and it is to be listed or scheduled.
See file and (S5) for details and report on CD ROM.
D. Gurney (NLA) 27 December 2001.

One Bloodhound Missile has been removed to the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Its base is to be scheduled and a sculpture may replace the missile.
E. Rose (NLA) 29 November 2005.

For further information on the operational history of the airfield and photographs of remaining buildings, see (S6).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 13 January 2010.

March 2010.
A developer plans to create a low-carbon energy plant on the site.
See (S7) for further details,
H. White, (NLA), 31 March 2010

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BATTLE HEADQUARTERS (11008/41) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • CONTROL TOWER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • FIRING RANGE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY CHAPEL (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • OFFICERS MESS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SICK QUARTERS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WATCH OFFICE (4698/43) (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BLOODHOUND MISSILE SITE (Cold War - 1945 AD to 1992 AD)
  • MISSILE BASE (Cold War - 1945 AD to 1992 AD)
  • UNDERGROUND MILITARY HEADQUARTERS (Cold War - 1945 AD to 1992 AD)
  • ROYAL OBSERVER CORPS MONITORING POST (Cold War - 1959 AD to 1968 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 8424A - B.
---Photograph: Kent, P.. 1994. KHC 14-15.
---Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England.. Vol I.4, p 572.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1992. Bomb found just outside RAF base. 6 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. History in the air as base shuts down. 28 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Entry sign will mark final exit. 15 September.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. 'What a waste of a base'. 30 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. A fond farewell in the sunshine to historic airbase. 2 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Searching for ghosts at Norfolk wartime airfield. 13 January.
---Website: Simon Purcell. 2011. Battle Headquarters.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Book traces station's varied history. 12 July.
<S2>Article in serial: 1973. Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. Part 1. Vol 7, pp 17-23.
<S3>Unpublished document: Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey record form.
<S4>Article in serial: Catford, N.. 1999. ROC Underground Posts in Norfolk.. NIAS Journal. Vol 6, No 4. pp 59ff.
<S5>Monograph: Cocroft, W.. 2001. Cold War Monuments: An Assessment by the Monuments Protection Programme..
<S6>Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 118-125.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Biomass plans for former RAF base. 12 March.

Related records

58817Related to: Bomber control tower (Building)

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