Rougham Airfield – Suffolk

A few months ago I had a look around Rougham Hall. Whilst in the forest, we also saw some old WWII bomb stores. They weren’t really very interesting – more like a little brick shed.

A lot of Rougham Airfield has been converted to an industrial estate. One of the hangars is now a warehouse. The control tower has been restored and is now a museum.

The interesting thing that remains is an underground battle HQ.

Bomb stores

There are a couple of these hidden deep within the forest. They’re a bit empty but in quite good condition.

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Underground Battle HQ

Mother lived in the area and used to play in this when she was a kid! It is pretty well hidden now by nettles and trees, but you can still get in…

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The main feature of the battle HQ is the observation post. From here the whole airfield could be observed, from it’s semi-undergound position. There is a ladder which leads to an escape hatch next to the post. I’m a bit worried by the brown stains on the wall – splattered blood?…

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There are also a few rooms inside. One had a garden bench in – I don’t think that this is authentic war furniture!

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So what were the rooms? They were all labelled…

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Spiders and bats. No explore would be complete without crazy wildlife.

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10 Responses to Rougham Airfield – Suffolk

  1. aaron collinson says:

    i also have a load of pictures of stow marries 1st w w air base.

  2. texaspetey says:

    You missed out the huge bomb crater that is in the woods near some of the bomb storage bays. it is huge – no wonder the hall is a ruin today!

  3. Gemma Long says:

    brilliant website – history no matter how old is a gift to us – it makes me feel like a small child again in a huge and wonderful world!

  4. Andy Hill says:

    I was just there (Sept 2007) and there are also a couple of Nissen huts in the bush by the Grain Stores as you enter the Rougham Industrial Park. They were used by the Photo Recon section to develop film etc., and the wood from the door lintels labelling what room did what are on display in the control tower/museum upstairs.

    Sadly, only one of the T2 hangars remains – the second one being demolished by the Council in, I think, 2004. I imagine that made perfect sense to somebody – but that ‘somebody’ would’ve been an enemy of History.

  5. Bernard Wills says:

    As a boy of 10 to 11 when I lived in Bury from 1954 to 55 I used to cycle the runways and the not-long-abandoned buildings, dreaming at that age of the deeds done not long before. I have, to this day, a live (but emptied) .50 cannon shell picked up at the edge of a unway, and that was not fired in anger overGermany on a mission. How I still dream of those days and marvel at my fascination, even at that age, for the wonder of those wartime endeavours.

  6. Stephen Clark says:

    I am an instructor with the Air Training Corps and am running a project with the cadets on UK aviation archaeology.

    If any of you can send any information on any UK aviation site I would be most thankful. Likewise any photographs, drawings, maps, plans.


    Stephen Clark CI 2211 ATC

    Mobile 07715 749484

  7. col hayward says:

    Thought the strip was called Great Barton.When I was a kid I used to stay at Highfields where was aunt was working/caretaking. The farm was owned by a Mr Crack. I have vivid memories of being on the crossbar of my grandfather’s bike next to the strip and seeing one of the Yank bombers coming in with one wheel up-it cartwheeled a couple of times but didn’t burn (luckily). There was a dispersal next to the farm and the mechanics used to sling bits of u/s US equipment over the fence sometimes.Also remember having lollies and chewing gum from the airmen who used to give us all kinds of luxury bits like tins of ham.It’s a wonder I ended up in Oz rather than the States.I hope that they keep the tower as a memorial- I think a lot of planes never came back from that strip.

  8. s dale says:

    as a very small child i lived on the eldo farm, once part of the air base. my father and grandfather grew up there also. Im extremely sad to see most of it demolished and i have a great interest in the history of both the farm and the airbase. I visited both regulary even after i moved away at 3 years old.
    Id be most grateful if anyone has any pre-industrial estate photos of the base or farm.

    • Tanya lingley says:

      hi sam,i will be speaking to my dad later and getting hold of as much info for you as possible,glad you rang back.speak soon .tanya

  9. A G Orange says:

    All very good info on the air field thanks.

    Can any one tell me how I get to the bunker Battle HQ I will be walking from Bury st Edmunds

    Many thanks

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