Nestled in the Norfolk countryside lies this Royal Air Force base. It is spread over a sizable area and buildings were large, varied and plentiful.
Many of the structures are typical of military airfields; barracks, offices, stores, hangers. But, there is one building in particular with extremely interesting properties.
This large dome must be one of the strangest rooms I have ever stood in – and that really is saying something once you have been urban exploring for a couple of years. The perfect symmetry of the dome together with the perfectly smooth walls and empty interior make this a perfect echo chamber.
When you clap your hands inside a tunnel, the sound waves going directly up and to the sides are bounced back at you and you hear this as an echo. This room however, forces every part of the sound wave back at you in an echo like I have never before experienced. Tiny, almost-inaudible sounds are hurled back at you amplified a hundred-fold. The tiny click from my camera’s adjustment wheel becomes a hammer-fall, your breathing becomes almost voice-like and any actual words spoken become unintelligible.
Sadly, time being short, we were resigned to treating this visit as a relatively quick reconnaissance mission. As such we lacked the time to find our way into the large hanger buildings, settling instead for their attached offices and auxiliary buildings.
Climbing too would have to wait for the next visit if I was to make it to the station in time for my train home.
Like many military bases, this site was a village in its own right and largely self-contained. I would gladly spend an entire day or two exploring the various buildings and sights on offer.
If I have my way, this will not be the final word from this fascinating place. In the meantime however, I hope you enjoyed this quick tour.