Record Details

NHER Number:26653
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two bomb craters

Summary

A large area of craters is visible on aerial photographs of this area in 1946 and 1969. This was probably a World War Two bombing range.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 8213 4599
Map Sheet:TF84NW
Parish:BRANCASTER, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
BURNHAM NORTON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

May 2002. Norfolk NMP.
A large area of bomb craters dating to World War Two training, visible on 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S1) and Hunting Survey photographs from 1969 (S2). The area is centred on TF 8213 4601, but covering an area 3km long and approximately 1.15km wide. The extent of this site is almost entirely restricted to Scolt Head Island, Burnham Norton parish, although a small group of craters can be seen to the south on Little Ramsey, Brancaster.

The site consists of clusters of bomb craters, often in linear runs following natural targets such as the creeks. These depressions vary from 2 to 7m across, only the larger craters and those showing significant patterns were mapped, the rest are defined by an extent of area. One crater is particularly massive, 17.5m in diameter, at TF 8256 4616. It is likely that this island in the saltmarsh and dunes was used as a bombing range, although no definite associated buildings have been recognised. A group of World War Two structures are visible on Gun Hill to the east (NHER 26673) may be related. These bomb scars were mapped from the 1946 images only as military activity may have continued along the coast post 1946. Such as the bombing range in Titchwell which was used well into the 1950s. A wreck above Scolt Head Island was also used as a bombing target (NHER 18665). The density and pattern of the activity and its spatial definition on the island suggests that this is bombing practice rather than enemy fire or dropping of bombs on return flights.
S. Massey (NMP), 8 May 2002.

June 2008. Norfolk NMP.
Documents (S3) dating to World War Two indicate that a bombing raid was carried out on May 11 and May 23, 1944, by British planes on a beach in the area of Brancaster to test the most effective type of bombs on the sands, as it had been established that Brancaster beach material was similar to that of the Normandy beaches to be attacked as part of the D-Day landings. It is possible that the bomb craters recorded above are part of this operation or perhaps those referred to on Little Ramsey, Brancaster, to the south.
S. Massey (NMP), 18 June 2008.

Monument Types

  • BOMB CRATER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING RANGE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3020 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 8145B).
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Hunting Surveys Ltd. 1969. HSL UK/69/949 0072 20-NOV-1969 (Norfolk SMR TF 8245A).
<S3>Newspaper Article: Goffin, J. 2004. Brancaster's D-Day secret is revealed.. 2nd June.

Related records - none

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