Record Details

NHER Number:28452
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two bombing decoy known as Beeston St Lawrence


A World War Two bombing decoy named Beeston St Lawrence is recorded at this location. It was a Q type decoy for Coltishall airfield, employing lights to mimic those used at airfields at night. Embanked or fenced enclosures and other structures, earthworks and vegetation marks visible on 1940s aerial photographs were almost certainly part of this decoy, which was in use from 1941 to 1943.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3172 2246
Map Sheet:TG32SW

Full description

Probably north of Beeston St Lawrence church.
Decoy airfield, type T. RAF no Q53(a). Protected RAF Coltishall. In use August 1941-November 1941.
Information from [1] via D. Edwards (NAU).
E. Rose (NLA) 24 September 1991

World War Two RAF airfield decoy, type Q. Called `Beeston St Lawrence'.
Parent field was Coltishall.
(S1) puts this in Tunstead parish at grid reference TG 318 227.
D.Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

June 2007. Norfolk NMP.
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the grid reference of the site from TG 318 226 to TG 3173 2247.

The probable remains of the World War Two bombing decoy described above are visible as structures, earthworks and vegetation marks on aerial photographs (S2)-(S4). The Beeston St Lawrence decoy (no. 53a) was one of two Q type decoys for Coltishall airfield. It was apparently in use between 1941 and 1943 (Fairhead 1996 (S5)). The aerial photographs show a pasture field (the extent of which has been mapped) with a group of enclosures (mapped as embanked but possibly fenced or even ditched) in its southeast corner. Various small structures, platforms or patches of disturbed ground are visible, some of which may relate to agricultural activity (poultry rearing, grazing livestock. etc.) which took place after the decoy went out of use. They include two linear arrangements of disturbed ground (mapped as pits) which could relate to the Type ‘T’ runway lights reportedly installed at the site (S5). No traces of the site are visible on more recent aerial photographs.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 4 June 2007.

Monument Types

  • BOMBING DECOY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING DECOY SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • Q SITE (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England.. Vol III, p 93.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7GR/LOC348 2181 27-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 3175-6 16-APR-1946 (NHER TG 3223B, TG 3123B).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4084-5 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 3122B, TG 3122D).
<S5>Monograph: Fairhead, H.. 1996. Huby Fairhead's Decoy Sites. Wartime Deception in Norfolk and Suffolk.. p 17.

Related records

49377Related to: Site of probable World War Two military camp near Old Farm (Monument)

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