Record Details

NHER Number:30929
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War One or World War Two practice trenches and possible rifle range


Earthworks of military practice trenches and a rifle range on Hoe Common are visible on aerial photographs. It is not clear whether they are of World War One or World War Two date.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9864 1713
Map Sheet:TF91NE

Full description

1994. Field Observation. How Common.
Military installations were revealed by clearance of scrub grown up since 1949. A network of deep rectangular trenches were observed, centred on a large pillow-shaped mound which is clearly a shooting butt. This is an unusual arrangement, with trenches extending on both sides of this. Staff of the Wensum Valley Project who carried out the land clearance reported these feature to be World War One, but there is no definite evidence of this and they may in fact date to World War Two.
E. Rose (NLA), 22 November 1994.

8 May 1998. NLA aerial photography.
Earthworks on the common clearly reveal two sets of three parallel zigzag practice trenches.
Reference to 1946 RAF vertical aerial photographs (S3) suggests that they are World War Two in date, as they appear fairly fresh.
S. Massey (NLA), 22 November 2001.

November 2007. Norfolk NMP.
Earthworks of military practice trenches and a rifle range on Hoe Common are visible on aerial photographs ((S1)-(S3)). Two groups of trenches were present, each comprising of two parallel crenellated or zigzag plan trenches. Linking the two parallel trenches in each of these groups were three zigzag trenches. Low earthwork banks were present alongside the trenches. To the southwest and northeast of the four main trenches were a series of parallel banks and ditches. It is likely that these banks formed shooting butts and that these practice trenches formed part of a rifle range. The earliest available aerial photographs showing these trenches date from 1945 (S2). It is not possible to tell from these aerial photographs whether the trenches were of World War Two or World War One origin.
J. Albone (NMP), 14 November 2007.

20 May 2013
Field Visit to Hoe Common to view the World War One or Two practice trenches. The trenches were clearly visible and in good condition but covered in undergrowth - mainly bracken although one area is wooded. The northernmost bank was not seen. The site is a good habitat for adders therefore the trees will be left. Following the site visit the trenches have been cleared of bracken by a local group.
K. Powell (HES), 23 December 2013

Monument Types

  • PRACTICE TRENCH (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • RIFLE RANGE (World War One to World War Two - 1914 AD to 1945 AD)
  • PRACTICE TRENCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. NHER TF 9817F-L (NLA 391/HSR6-11) 08-MAY-1998.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/369 3026-7 08-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/51 5055-6 31-JAN-1946 (NHER TF 9817A-B).

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service