Record Details

NHER Number:13549
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bayfield or Holt airfield


The site of a World War One airfield and earthworks of World War Two gun emplacements, an anti-aircraft battery and a slit trench, are visible on 1946 aerial photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0643 4148
Map Sheet:TG04SE

Full description

Consisting of one hangar in a field, used by RNAS and RAF from South Denes 1914 to 1920.
See (S1).

[1] remembers ploughing this field in 1920s.
The hangars were against the wood on the far west and the barracks with a well by the pit to the north.
The 'ring ditch' on RAF/OS air photographs at 0632 4146 and formerly numbered NHER 11887, is in fact the chalk circle which marked the field for planes.

World War One night landing ground.
D. Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

June 1946.
RAF air photograph shows on north edge of site two circular structures, one about 12m in diameter within probable mound of about 30m diameter, the other about 9m diameter in mound of about 15m diameter. Second World War military structures, probably a gun battery.

June 1998.
Visited. Now arable.
B. Cushion (NLA), 11 June 1998.

7 June 1946. RAF air photography.
Conists of three ring works in a line roughly east to west aligned. Most westerly ring visible as a soil mark on Ordnance Survey 1969 aerial photographs.
D. Voisey (NLA), 29 January 1996.

October 2002. Norfolk NMP.
The earthwork remains of a World War Two Anti-Aircraft battery gun emplacements and slit trench, visible on 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S3). The largest gun emplacement is located at TG 0630 4167. It consists of a penannular earthwork bank, 20m in diameter and 5m wide. Ten irregular shaped pits, presumably the quarries from the construction of the site, surround this feature. It is possible that these may have been utilised for ammunition storage or something similar. A slighter smaller penannular gun emplacement is located at TG 0637 4168 and measures 13m in diameter and 3m wide. Smaller still is the eastern emplacement at TG 0645 4170, which is 8m across and the bank is 1.5m wide. To the north is a small circular embanked feature at TG 0640 4172. This structure is 6m in diameter and the bank is 1.5m across. It is possible that this relates to a fourth gun emplacement. An L-shaped slit trench is also visible centred on TG 0633 4171, measuring 6m by 5.5m. The ditch appears to be up to 2m wide.
Located in the centre of the site is a roughly circular feature at TG 0627 4146. The diameter of the circle varies from TG 48.5m to 51.5m and the feature itself is 2-3m wide. This mark has previously been interpreted as a chalk marker placed in the field to aid planes landing. This site was a World War One airfield, so this marker must have been thought to that period. It therefore seems unlikely that a chalk circle could have survived in an arable field from World War One to 1946. The mark that is visible in 1946 appears to be showing as a parching effect. It is possible that this circle was constructed out of densely packed material, which has since stunted crop growth. The World War One airfield was thought to have been a night landing site and therefore lights would surely have been needed as a marker rather than chalk. It seems equally likely that the circular parchmark relates to some structure or activity that is associated with the World War Two battery on the site.
S. Massey (NMP), 13 April 2003.

Monument Types

  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • MILITARY AIRFIELD (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SLIT TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF. RAF OS AP 4151; TG 04/TG 0541/B.
---Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. OS 69-037-049.
---Aerial Photograph: RAF. RAF 1946 TG 0642B.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Article in Serial: 1973. Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. Part 1.
<S2>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England.. Vol 1(2), p 300.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 4229-30 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 0641A, TG 0741A).

Related records - none

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