Record Details

NHER Number:5045
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bodney Airfield

Summary

A World War Two airfield that was in use until 1945. World War Two pillboxes, blast walls, and a battle headquarters are still standing on the site. In June 1944 the control tower was hit by a USAF Mustang that was taking off on the first D-Day missions. Prehistoric flints and fragments of pottery dating from the Iron Age to the medieval period have been found during fieldwalking.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 841 992
Map Sheet:TL89NW
Parish:HILBOROUGH, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Airfield.
Marked on map are courses of roads destroyed when it was built.
Red Buildings stood at TL 8385 9925 and others at TL 8405 9875.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) 10 August 1977.

Nothing remains except the perimeter roads and perhaps some buildings in Great Wood.
All rest under crop.
E. Rose (NAU)

Second visit revealed many buildings in woods on south perimeter by modern road, including shelters, brick structures etc. Bodney Camp occupies part of the area and there is a pill box opposite, rectangular with blast wall, brick, at TL 8515 9813.
E. Rose (NAU) 26 February 1981.

No runways, grass field.
Opened in 1942 as satellite for Watton. USAF fighter base 1943.
Control tower destroyed in crash on D Day, rebuilt further east.
Closed around VE day.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NAU) 3 August 1981.

Another pill box at TL 8470 9925 in centre of airfield and another at TL 8401 9991.
See (S2) in file by source [1], who adds:
Rare type 22E 1940/41 pillbox, protected entrance and turnball mounts on top, faces north at TL 8401 9988.
Survey No. Q1-4.
Rare World War Two light anti aircraft gun emplacement (type CAA/2).
Situated south of control tower at TL 8444 9918.
Survey No. Q1-5.
Common 1940 type 22 pillbox with rare parapet. Turnball mounts have odd semi-circular ring, at TL 8447 9913.
Survey No. Q1-6.
Rare Battle Headquarters 20m north of Q1-6. Date possibly 1943. At TL 8447 9915.
Survey No. Q1-7.
Quite rare World War Two type 22E pillbox standing 100m east of track.
Protected entrance, at TL 8474 9957.
Survey No. Q1-8.
Rectangular World War Two pillbox with brick blast wall. Needs to be checked, at TL 8515 9813.
Survey No. Q1-9.
D. Walker (NLA), July 1996.

1987 to 1988. Fieldwalking of areas within airfield now cultivated.
Finds as listed in file under NHER 24669 and below.
Iron Age, Roman, Middle Saxon, medieval sherds; flints.
E. Rose (NAU) 29 June 1988.

For further information and photographs of remaining buildings, see (S3).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 13 January 2010.

Monument Types

  • AIR RAID SHELTER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BATTLE HEADQUARTERS (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)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TL8399 A,B,C.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TL 8400E - K; TL 8499A-B.
---Photograph: Kent, P.. 1995. KHK 8-13.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Veterans' final visit to scene of take-off tragedy.. 28 May.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Serial: NSAM. Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk.. Vol III.
<S2>Unpublished document: Norfolk Defensive Structures Survey record form.
<S3>Monograph: McKenzie, R.. 2004. Ghost Fields of Norfolk. pp 18-22.

Related records - none

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