Monument record HLY 098 - WWII decoy Airfield Hollesley Common

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WWII decoy airfield on Hollesley Common, centering around TM 3512 4582.


Grid reference Centred TM 3502 4590 (974m by 1165m)
Map sheet TM34NE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

WWII decoy airfield on Hollesley Common, centering around TM 3512 4582 (S1).
Now partly afforested, partly common?
2006: remains of the eastern bank are visible for approximately 230m at 0.2m high (on open heathland). Part of the western bank was visible for approximately 50m at 0.3 m high (in dense bracken and woodland) (S2).
A Second World War bombing decoy at Hollesley that was built to deflect enemy bombing from Royal Air Force Martlesham airfield. The site became operational in early 1940 and served as both a 'K-type' day decoy and a 'Q-type' night decoy. The 'K-type' decoy consisted of a replica airfield equipped with dummy Blenheim aircraft, while the 'Q-type' decoy displayed a sequence of lights to simulate an active airfield. The 'K-type' decoy ceased operating on 31st October 1941, but the 'Q-type' decoy continued functioning until at least 1942. A section of track from a ring circuit, which was part of the 'K-type' decoy is all that survives at the Hollesley site (S3).

October 2015. Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme.
A WWII decoy or training airfield was visible on Hollesley Common on aerial photographs (S4)–(S7), centred on TM 3497 4596.
It is visible as a cleared strip of vegetation and is similar in character to that recorded in Sutton (SHER SUT 213) and at Kelling Heath in Norfolk (NHER 23129), which was part of a D-Day preparation exercise undertaken by the United States Airforce, and it is possible that this airfield was constructed as part of the Woodbridge training area (SHER SUT 250), and that it was not a true ‘decoy’ airfield as suggested above. It was not visible on photographs from 1943 (S8), and was clearly created after this date. Clearance banks presumably relating to the construction of the runway strip, and some possible earlier bank earthworks which may relate to the field system in the area (SHER HLY 108) are also visible.
E. Ford (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 15th October 2015.

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <S1> Verbal communication: Personal communication. Kerr, A., pers. Comm. Pendleton C (SCCAS), 24/11/04.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Rolfe, J.. 2006. Archaeological earthwork evaluation report, Land Holdings of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust at Upper Hollesley Common.
  • <S3> Index: English Heritage. Pastscape.
  • <S4> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/58/79 V 5008-5009 27-JUL-1948 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S5> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/58/113 V 5149-5150 30-AUG-1948 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S6> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service Airmap71 35 3571037-3571038 11-APR-1971 (Print).
  • <S7> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. CUCAP V-BP 027-029 01-JUN-1963 (Original Print).
  • <S8> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. US/7PH/GP/LOC132 V 5007-5008 30-DEC-1943 (EHA Laser Copy).

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Dec 2 2015 4:17PM

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