RAF Watton

This page looks at the history of the aerodrome which became RAF Watton, and how it has affected Carbrooke.

An aerial shot from 1944 of the airfield

Work began on the construction of RAF Watton in 1937 as the possibility of war in Europe loomed, the land was purchased  from local landowners, and the site spans parts of the parishes of Carbrooke, Watton and Griston.

The Aerodrome has had a dramatic effect on Carbrooke, both during the war and afterwards, large parts of the parish became inaccessible to the public, and the road to Griston was closed altogether. During the war, the RAF were based here, followed by the American Airforce, the site was returned to the RAF after the war, when it became Eastern Radar.

During 1980’s the station began closing down, the housing stock has gradually been sold to the public, providing affordable homes for both local and new residents with new building developments taking place, this is now the most heavily populated part of the parish.

A residential home for the elderly, and new shops have been built on the former RAF site. The runway has been dug up, the rubble used to construct the last section of dual carriage way on A11 at Elveden, and the airfield has been returned to farmland.

Officers Mess 1971, the site has now been converted to industrial units.

A history of RAF Watton, by Julian Horn can be found here:- History Of The Aerodrome, RAF Watton (

This site contains photographs and information of the derelict site before the new housing developments.

Watton Radio Model Club has a steady membership, and meets at an outdoor venue at a field on ‘The Fen’, Carbrooke. In summer the buzz of the model aircraft can often be heard at weekends and evenings, for more information, follow this link to their website.

Carbrooke during World War 2

Transcription of Carbrooke School Logs 1939 – 45 details Carbrooke life during the war years, mentioning the effect of living close to RAF watton during this time.

Page last Updated 29.01.2024