A successful and sunny training day at Rougham Airfield!

On a gloriously sunny Saturday 12th July our crack team of 9 volunteers joined Hannah Potter and Martin Cuthbert,  Community Archaeologists at Eighth in the East, to begin another another of our popular free archaeological training days at Rougham Airfield,  near Bury St Edmunds.

Hannah and Martin used the first part of the morning to deliver a short presentation explaining some of the important foundations of standing building recording. They covered basics such as what makes an airfield,  health and safety on site,  and more in-depth elements such as how to identify and record different airfield buildings using the Eighth in the East recording form.

After a spot of lunch in the café on site at Rougham in the control tower,  the team eagerly convoyed across the airfield to record the first building, which turned out to be a real gem- a chapel with a gym attached that’s still in use today!

This building is still used as a gym today


The journey over to the gym was a real eye-opener about the size of the base,  and drove home the importance of bicycles to servicemen situated all over East Anglia,  a theme reinforced in some of the displays at the museum.


After an animated debate surrounding the purpose of some interesting metal hinged clamps found on the chapel,  the team moved over to record the control tower itself where the museum proved incredibly popular with everyone.

The volunteers were then given the opportunity to discuss their findings and ask any questions they might have about filling in the forms,  or how this information is then transferred to the public-access Norfolk Historic Environment Record.

These volunteers are now using the forms to record airfield buildings local to them in the hope that we will be able to get a better idea of how many survive and their current condition.

Here’s just some of the great things our volunteers had to say about the experience when asked what they enjoyed most about the day:

Conducting studies in groups, allowing for debate and discussion.”

The new skills [which] will enhance my enjoyment of airfield exploration and give me the confidence to report my findings to 8th in the East.


The Eighth in the East team would like to thank Rougham Control Tower Museum, in particular Shirley who was on hand to help on the day,  and all of our volunteers for making the day such a great success!

Think you might like to participate in a similar event? Why not head over to ‘Get Involved‘ or check out ‘What’s On‘ for plenty of exciting volunteering opportunities within Eighth in the East!