Infrastructure, Transportation and Supply

Storage and depots

Munitions Depot

RAF Barnham

RAF Barnham

Full name of site:

RAF Barnham

Location:

Thetford IP24 2DJ, Storbritannien

Operational period:

1954

to

1963

Primary user:

RAF

Description:

RAF Barnham was one of two bomb stores designed in the early 1950s to hold the RAF’s first atomic bomb – Blue Danube. It was a large weapon measuring 7.3m in length and weighing 4,636kg.

For storage it might be split into three sections, the nose, central explosives unit and tail, which were accommodated in three large store buildings. Partly for safety reasons the fissile cores were stored individually in small hutch-like buildings.

Also due to relatively short radioactive half-lives for some of the cores’ components these required regular replacement and maintenance. The two central storage depots had relatively short operational lives. From the late 1950s nuclear bomb stores were built on the V-bomber airfields and later types of nuclear weapons had different storage and maintenance needs.

The depot is protected as a scheduled monument and some of its buildings are listed.

Ownership:

Private

Valuation of authenticity and integrity:

Many of the metal fittings were removed from the site during the 1960s. However, most of the buildings survive intact and in a joint project between the owner and Historic England many of its buildings have recently been conserved.

Status and access:

Privately owned, occassional tours for pre-arranged groups.