Thorpe Abbotts

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Thorpe Abbotts
Thorpe Abbots-g2.jpg
The parish church of All Saints, Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk
Norfolk UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Thorpe Abbotts
Location within Norfolk
Population605 (parish, 2001 census)
OS grid reference TM190790
  London 106 miles (171 km)
Civil parish
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DISS
Postcode district IP21
Dialling code 01379
Police Norfolk
Fire Norfolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places
UK
England
Norfolk
52°22′19″N1°13′16″E / 52.37183°N 1.2212°E / 52.37183; 1.2212 Coordinates: 52°22′19″N1°13′16″E / 52.37183°N 1.2212°E / 52.37183; 1.2212

Thorpe Abbotts is a village within the civil parish of Brockdish (where the population is listed) in the English county of Norfolk. [1] The village is 6.5 miles (10.5 km) east of Diss, 20.8 miles (33.5 km) south south west of Norwich and 106 miles (171 km) north east of London. The village lies .4 miles (0.64 km) north of the A143 Diss to Great Yarmouth road. [2] The nearest railway station is at Diss for the Great Eastern Main Line which runs between Norwich and Liverpool Street station, London. The nearest airport is Norwich International Airport. The village, as part of the larger parish in the 2001 census, had a population of 605. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of South Norfolk.

Civil parish Territorial designation and lowest tier of local government in England

In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which historically played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; civil and religious parishes were formally split into two types in the 19th century and are now entirely separate. The unit was devised and rolled out across England in the 1860s.

Brockdish village in the United Kingdom

Brockdish is a village and civil parish in the South Norfolk district of Norfolk, England. It is 3.53 square miles (910 ha) in size. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 605 in 265 households, the population increasing at the 2011 Census to 681. The village is situated on the River Waveney, and is about 3 miles (5 km) south-west of Harleston. Like many villages Brockdish has suffered some demise in local business as people work further afield and the bypassing of the village in 1996. The village's second pub shut in 2000 leaving one popular pub in the shape of the Old King's Head; the village hall; village school although rated outstanding by Ofsted closed in July 2016 due to low pupil numbers. The school is now being given a new lease of life as the Waveney Heritage Centre by the Waveney Heritage Community Interest Company; stalls selling fresh eggs, vegetables, plants and a small antiques shop.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Contents

History

Thorpe Abbotts has an entry in the Domesday Book of 1085. [3] In the great book, Thorpe Abbotts is recorded by the name Thorp and is said to be King’s land, in the charge of William de Noyers.

Domesday Book 11th-century survey of landholding in England as well as the surviving manuscripts of the survey

Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

Then, at the midwinter [1085], was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."

Norreys may refer to various members of, or estates belonging to, a landed family chiefly seated in the English counties of Berkshire and Lancashire and the Irish county of Cork.

Station 139

During the Second World War, Thorpe Abbotts became home to RAF Station Thorpe Abbotts with the designation 139, Thorpe Abbotts. [4] The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Sons Ltd. The airfield had three intersecting runways laid with concrete which were encircled by a three and a half mile perimeter road. [5] The perimeter road had hard standings for fifty aircraft. There were two hangars, a technical site and a domestic area. The station became operational in June 1943 when the 100th Bomb Group of the United States Army Air Forces took up residency equipped with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The group became known as the ‘’Bloody 100th’’ because of the heavy losses incurred by the group on a number of their combat missions. [6] The 100th were the only group to fly operations from Thorpe Abbots and during a period between 15 June 1943 and 10 April 1945, 306 [7] missions were flown from the airfield. The USAAF left the station in December 1945 when the airfield was returned to the RAF and it remained inactive until April 1956 when the airfield was finally closed (de-requisitioned).

RAF Thorpe Abbotts

Royal Air Force station Thorpe Abbotts or more simply RAF Thorpe Abbotts is a former Royal Air Force station located 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Diss, Norfolk, England.

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently in the past a lime-based cement binder, such as lime putty, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement or Portland cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress US four engine bomber produced 1936–1945

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps' performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances, becoming the third-most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engined B-24 and the multirole, twin-engined Ju 88.

The land owned by Sir Rupert Mann has been returned to agricultural use but the perimeter road remained intact until 1986 when it was demolished. Some of the buildings including the control tower still survive. Today the old control tower has been fully restored and contains a museum dedicated to the famous 'Bloody Hundredth' Bomb Group. [8] The museum tells the story of Thorpe Abbotts and portrays every-day life on an American bomber base. A D-4 link trainer is on display, while a B-24 tail turret is undergoing restoration. Special events and reunions are frequently staged.

Eddie the Ghost

From time to time, visitors to the museum report an overpowering presence within the control tower, occasionally accompanied by the brief glimpse of an airman dressed in full flying gear. [9] The sound of VHF chatter and the sound of aircraft have also been heard. These strange apparitions are not a new phenomenon. "Eddie the Ghost", as American personnel nicknamed him, began to appear after the first Berlin raids by the RAF's Bomber Command, with "Eddie's" apparitions noted as happening from 1942; he was reported as walking through walls of the airmen’s quarters. Stories of the ghost persisted with some of the men taking their carbines to bed with them. Fearing an accident, Colonel Jeffrey, the station (base) commander, forbade all talk of Eddie on penalty of court martial. Today, sightings are less frequently recorded although Eddie is occasionally seen when the tower is locked at night. He appears at the first-floor window looking out as if to say good night. [9]

All Saints parish church

All Saints parish church is one of 124 existing round-tower churches in Norfolk. The church was almost entirely refurbished in the 19th century but still possess its medieval font and screen. The church is a Grade I listed building .

The village pump

The village hand pump was installed by Lord Justice Kay in 1867 and has a wooden canopy placed over it. The pump has undergone several restorations - in 1924 by a local doctor and, more recently, by the villagers in 1979.

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References

  1. OS Explorer Map 230 – Diss & Harleston ISBN   0-319-23804-0
  2. County A to Z Atlas, Street & Road maps Norfolk, Page 232, ISBN   978-1-84348-614-5
  3. The Domesday Book, England's Heritage, Then and Now, Editor: Thomas Hinde,Norfolk page 195 ISBN   1-85833-440-3
  4. Airfields of the Eighth, Then and Now, By Roger A. Freeman/After the Battle Magazine: Published by Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd: ISBN   0-900913-09-6
  5. Aerial photo of RAF Thorpe Abbotts from Multimap.Com
  6. Airfields of the Eighth, Then and Now, By Roger A. Freeman/After the Battle Magazine: Published by Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd: Page 217 ISBN   0-900913-09-6
  7. The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Freeman, Roger A. (1991) Cassell & Co. ISBN   0-304-35708-1
  8. The Museum Web-site
  9. 1 2 Ghost Fields of East Anglia by Martin W Bowman, Page 114, Published by Halsgrove 2007 ISBN   978-1-84114-653-9