Record Details

NHER Number:8137
Type of record:Monument
Name:Horsham St Faith airfield (Norwich Airport)

Summary

A World War Two airfield, now used as Norwich Airport and an industrial estate. The airfield was established just before the start of World War Two and became operational at the outbreak of hostilities. Hangars, technical and domestic buildings and grass runways were constructed and the Officers' Mess and three Picket Hamilton forts (see NHER 32543 to 32545) are amongst the buildings that survive. The base was used by RAF bomber and fighter squadrons from 1939 to 1942 and the United States Army Air Force between 1942 and 1945. The RAF returned in 1945 and used the airfield until 1963. The site was purchased by the local authority in March 1967 and is now used as Norwich Airport and an industrial estate. Aerial photographs show the extent of the World War Two airfield, and the many structures associated with it.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2185 1345
Map Sheet:TG21SW
Parish:HORSHAM ST FAITH AND NEWTON ST FAITH, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

1939 to 1945, now Norwich Airport and trading estate.
E. Rose (NAU), 18 May 1977.

Begun 1939, changed to RAF control on outbreak of war; abandoned 1967; opened as Norwich airport 1970 (S38).
E. Rose (NLA).

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

The officers' mess survived almost intact until September 1998 when it was burnt out.
Information from [1].
However Norwich City Council say (April 2000) that this is incorrect; the mess still intact, a fine example of late 1930s design; they are attempting to have it listed.
E. Rose (NLA), 16 September 1998 and 7 April 2000.

March 2006.
Hangars, technical and domestic buildings and grass runways constructed just before outbreak of World War Two.
First unit to use base was detachment of RAF 21 Squadron from Watton during November/December 1939. They flew Blenheim bombers.
1939 to 1940. RAF fighter squadrons were based at the station. 19 Squadron and 66 Squadron - both flew Spitfires.
June 1940. Opened as a base for RAF bombers. Blenheims, Oxfords and Mosquitos were flown from it by various squadrons.
September 1942. RAF moved out and United States Army Air Force moved in. Used by bomber and fighter squadrons.
June 1945. Station returned to RAF. Used by fighter squadrons, including Polish units.
1963. RAF left; site purchased by local authority in March 1967.
Information from (S42).
D. Robertson (NLA), 28 March 2006.

April 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Aerial photographs from 1941-1961 (S1-S38) show the extent of the World War Two airfield, and the many structures associated with it.
A good overview of the airfield during World War Two is visible on (S5) and (S6). Structures to south and east show up well on (S13) and (S18), many of which are still visible on (S20). The five C type hangars are visible centred on TG 2213 1291, with the control buildings and accommodation situated to the south. Three main areas of accommodation appear to be visible in this southern area, at TG 2219 1262 TG 2236 1240 and TG 2267 1229, the latter of which does not appear until 1945 (S11) and (S12). Further accommodation is visible as a separate area, over 400m to the east (NHER 53505), and the sewage works for the airfield is situated to the south (NHER 53506).
Two large underground shelters are visible (S12), centred on TG2268 1287, within an area of permanent brick-built accommodation, perhaps officers’ housing.
Spigot mortar and other earthwork defences are visible on (S35), together with a large open earthwork defence. The west side of the airfield is clearly visible on (S8-9), (S28) and (S31), with earthwork defences also clearly visible on (S16) and (S22). To the north of the western runway, earthwork defences are visible centred around TG 2095 1440 (S24). To the east, further earthwork defences are visible at TG 2270 1383 (S30).
Two further possible defence posts are visible as earthworks, centred on TG 2174 1255, just to the south of the airfield (S10), but these have not been mapped, due to their scale and temporary nature, although at least one of the earthworks is still visible in 1947 (S17). Further possible earthwork defences are visible at TG 2199 1241 (S31).
Zig zag trenches are visible to the south of the airfield, at TG 2164 1267 and TG 2237 1231 on (S2), these may relate to the defence of the airfield, or may be simply practice trenches, as they appear to have been filled in by 1944 (S7).
The Rifle butts for the airfield is clearly visible at TG 2284 1420 on (S26, 27, 33 and 36) and is still intact as late as 1961 (S38).
Several pillboxes are visible within the airfield, including one at TG 2151 1400 (S24, S31), one at TG2283 1350 (S15, S17 and S22) and one at TG 2278 1295 (S17), as well as a fourth at TG 2250 1293 (S15, S17), which may represent the mis-located NMR record TG 21 SW 65, a child of the airport record TG 21 SW 63.
The Pillbox recorded as NHER 16796 was also visible at TG 2131 1296 (S31).
Two smaller pillboxes are also visible at TG 2244 1247 and TG 2247 1231.
The location of Pickett Hamilton Forts NHER 32544-6 could not be confirmed from the aerial photographs.
Also of note are some possible dispersed storage areas on the East-West road to north of Manor Farm – also on the North-South road to east, on the western edge of the airfield, which are visible on (S43 and S44).
E. Bales (NMP), April 2010.

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • HANGAR (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1963 AD?)
  • HEAVY ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MESS (World War Two to Modern - 1939 AD to 1998 AD?)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1963 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1967 AD?)
  • PILLBOX (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • RIFLE BUTTS (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • RUNWAY (World War Two to Cold War - 1939 AD to 1963 AD?)
  • AIRPORT (Cold War to Modern - 1967 AD to 2050 AD)
  • HANGAR (Cold War to Modern - 1967 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • RUNWAY (Cold War to Modern - 1967 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England.. Vol I.4, p 585; Vol I.3,.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 26 May 1999. 26 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 16 Dec 1998. 16 December.
---Unpublished document: Manning, D.. Letter. Officers Mess - Horsham St Faith..
---Unpublished document: Rose, E.. 2002. Email. Norwich Airport.. 11 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Memorable flightpaths in war and peace. 2 January.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF N139 10-12 18-MAY-1941 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1941. RAF N139 15-20 18-MAY-1941 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF HLA/447 24-5 30-APR-1942 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1942. RAF FNO/35 6025-6 02-JUN-1942 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC264 5044 31-MAR-1944 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7GR/LOC348 2196 27-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7GR/LOC348 3194-5 27-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6098-9 06-SEPT-1945 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6138-43 06-SEPT-1945 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6174-6 06-SEPT-1945 (NMR).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6215-6 06-SEPT-1945 (NMR).
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/772 6255-8 06-SEPT-1945 (NMR).
<S13>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4013-4 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S14>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4068-9 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S15>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1636 3147-8 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S16>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2019 5039-40 18-APR-1947 (NMR).
<S17>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2019 5065-70 18-APR-1947 (NMR).
<S18>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2050 5021-2 06-MAY-1947 (NMR).
<S19>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2050 5149-50 06-MAY-1947 (NMR).
<S20>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1950. RAF 58/T/16 3013-5 10-OCT-1950 (NMR).
<S21>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/644 5100-1 20-APR-1951 (NMR).
<S22>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/820 5029-30 25-JUL-1952 (NMR).
<S23>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 58/956 3005-6 25-SEPT-1952 (NMR).
<S24>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 58/956 4004-5 25-SEPT-1952 (NMR).
<S25>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/922 3007-8 04-NOV-1952 (NMR).
<S26>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 58/999 0014-5 29-JAN-1953 (NMR).
<S27>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 58/1140 0112-3 18-JUN-1953 (NMR).
<S28>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 540/1164 0058-9 25-JUL-1953 (NMR).
<S29>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 58/1235 0046-9 26-AUG-1953 (NMR).
<S30>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 58/1299 0025-6 02-NOV-1953 (NMR).
<S31>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1954. RAF 540/1266 0380-6 08-MAR-1954 (NMR).
<S32>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1954. RAF 540/1266 0415-6 08-MAR-1954 (NMR).
<S33>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1954. RAF 540/1275 0017-8 30-MAR-1954 (NMR).
<S34>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1954. RAF 82/1030 0006-10 19-SEPT-1954 (NMR).
<S35>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1954. RAF 82/1030 0024-5 29-SEPT-1954 (NMR).
<S36>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1954. RAF 542/60 0007-8 11-OCT-1954 (NMR).
<S37>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 540/1723 0116-7 04-OCT-1955 (NMR).
<S38>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1961. MAL 61500 95650 30-AUG-1961 (NMR).
<S39>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TG 2112F, H - J.
<S40>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 2113R - T; TG 2213T - X.
<S41>Aerial Photograph: TG2213 A-B,D-N; TG2113 S.
<S42>Serial: Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk.. Vol II.
<S43>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/LA191 7070-7071 22-MAR-1945 (NMR).
<S44>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4065-4067 16-APR-1946 (NMR).

Related records

40894Parent of: Roman brooch from Horsham St Faith airfield (Find Spot)
16796Parent of: Site of a World War Two pillbox (Monument)
32543Parent of: World War Two Picket Hamilton fort at Norwich airport (Monument)
32544Parent of: World War Two Picket Hamilton fort at Norwich airport (Monument)
32545Parent of: World War Two Picket Hamilton fort at Norwich airport (Monument)
16797Parent of: World War Two pillbox (Monument)
53505Related to: Site of World War Two Accommodation for Horsham St Faith airfield (Monument)
13550Related to: Site of World War Two airfield bombing decoy (Monument)

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