Many of the buildings on the airfields, hospital sites and headquarters that were the homes and workplaces of the air force personnel have gone. The buildings that survive were never meant to last 70 years and are now on the verge of being lost. The Eighth in the East worked closely with archaeological groups and local communities to help record the surviving archaeology of the sites used by the 8th.
Many of the airfield buildings are overgrown in the summer period and the best time to survey is in the dry winter months when undergrowth is at its lowest. The recording process is simple and comprises just a small amount of paperwork and a few photographs for each building, no detailed drawing is required. We also have the extremely helpful 1940’s site plans of the airfields; detailing the location, construction type and original function of each building to aid you in your survey work.
Training days in how to go about recording the surviving structures were held throughout the project at a number of locations across East Anglia.
All the information and data collated throughout the project has been inputted into the relevant County Council Historic Environment Record (HER). The HER provides comprehensive information and evidence about the historic environment of a particular area. They are an essential source of information for managing, caring-for and understanding the historic environment and are maintained by your local County Council and are used for planning and development control as well as for public benefit and educational use.
Now the data of each building has been inputted into the HER this information is accessible at any time by the general public and sits alongside data on individual ancient buildings, churches, castles, archaeological sites, prehistoric find spots and highlight that these buildings are as important as the more historical sites. Take a look on the Heritage Gateway to see what’s near you.
In helping out the Eighth in the East project we hope you have learned new archaeological skills and at the same time helped to preserve your local history.
Below is all the paperwork you will need to record any surviving structures on your local airfield.
All of the 1940s official Air Ministry Record Site Plans of the airfield, hospital and headquarter sites, used by the 8th USAAF, can be found on the IWM American Air Museum Website.