Record Details

NHER Number:11783
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of World War Two bombing decoy


This is the site of a World War Two 'starfish' bombing decoy, laid out to resemble the lights of an industrial area of Norwich. Further information about the decoy is recorded in the NMR record TG 21 SE 30. S-shaped cropmarks are visible on aerial photographs, although these may be the remains of former field boundaries (NHER 51948), rather than being associated with the decoy. The bombing decoy is not visible on the available aerial photographs, presumably due to the fact that it was closed in November 1943 and had been ploughed out by the time of the available photographs. Associated buildings visible on post war aerial photographs of the site appear to have an agricultural function.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3001 1188
Map Sheet:TG31SW

Full description

From rear of building at crossroads (now demolished) curving to south boundary of field near junction of field boundaries, and crossing a new field boundary not on Ordnance Survey, an S shaped cropmark.
Checked by E. Rose (NAU) 9 November 1976.

[1] reports that this field was the site of a Starfish decoy laid out to resemble the lights of Norwich, during World War Two. The shape of the cropmarks suggests that they are more likely to be of older field boundaries but the possibility of a connection should not be ignored. A bunker some way to the northeast has been removed.
E. Rose (NAU) 28 February 1986.

Decoy was originally a Starfish of type C, ref C33(a) from 1941 to 1943, to which a type QL (SF43(a)) was added in May 1943 and abandoned November 1943; imitating industrial area of Norwich.
See (S1).
Information from [2] via D. Edwards (NLA).
E. Rose (NLA) 24 September 1991.

November 2008. Norfolk NMP.
The S-shaped cropmark and other cropmarks described above are now recorded as part of NHER 51948.
The bombing decoy is also noted in (S3) but was not visible on the available aerial photographs, presumably due to the fact that it was closed in November 1943 and has been ploughed out by the time of the available photographs. The 'uncovered control building...surviving in reasonable condition' mentioned in the NMR Record TG 21 SE 30, visible on aerial photographs from 1970 (S7), would appear to be a later, agricultural building, as it is not visible in the same position on the earlier photographs (S4)-(S6). It is difficult to be certain, but it would appear that the buildings visible even on the earliest of the post war photographs (S4) may have had an agricultural function.
Evidence of field boundaries and enclosure ditches throughout this area, including those cropmark features described above, is now recorded as NHER 51948
E. Bales (NMP), 20 November 2008.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England.. Vol III, pp 128, 147.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: TG 2911A-G.
<S3>Monograph: Dobinson, C.. 2000. Fields of Deception. Britain's Bombing Decoys of World War II.. pp 184, 191, 266.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/70 5023-4 28-FEB-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 540/1723 (F21) 0048-9 04-OCT-1955 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1956. RAF 540/1778 (F21) 0002-3 16-JAN-1956 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70104 0014-5 14-MAY-1970 (NMR).

Related records - none

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