Urban Exploration – Royal Air Force (RAF) Coltishall, Norfolk UK

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 30.11.2009

The former Royal Air Force Station Coltishall, more commonly known as RAF Coltishall (IATA: CLF, ICAO: EGYC), was a Royal Air Force station, a military airbase, 10 miles (16 km) North-North-East of Norwich, in the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia, from 1938 to 2006

It was a fighter base in the Second World War and afterwards a base for night fighters then ground attack aircraft until closure.

After long standing speculation, the future of the station was sealed once the Ministry of Defence announced that the Typhoon, a rolling replacement aircraft, displacing the ageing Jaguars, would not be based there. The last of the Jaguar squadrons left on 1 April 2006 and the station finally closed, one month early and £10 million under budget, on 30 November 2006.

The station motto was Aggressive in Defence. The station crest is a stone tower surmounted by a mailed fist grasping three bind bolts (arrows), which symbolised a position of strength in defence of the homeland, indicative of the aggressive spirit which Coltishall fighter aircraft were prepared to shoot down the enemy*

I went to this site to get some photos of the base as recently, part of the RAF base had been converted into a paedophiles prison…

As a child, I used to watch fighter planes taking off on this run way. I grabbed my photography kit and set up for a quick photo.

RAF Coltishall Run Way

RAF Coltishall Runway

RAF Coltishall Runway

I carried on making my way around the perimeter until I can to a clearing. I grabbed this shot across the airfield – in the distance you can see the guided weapon systems compound

Across the airfield at RAF Coltishall

Across the airfield at RAF Coltishall

I saw the main control tower in the distance – I really wanted to see what was inside

RAF Coltishall Control Tower

RAF Coltishall Control Tower

Airfield control tower at RAF Coltishall

Airfield control tower at RAF Coltishall

Photo – Danger: Beryllium

Danger: Beryillium at RAF Coltishall

Danger: Beryllium at RAF Coltishall

The weather took a turn for the worse however it was not long lived – lots of shadows which made so moody shooting

:)

Airfield at RAF Coltishall

Airfield at RAF Coltishall

Across the airfield at RAF Coltishall

Across the airfield at RAF Coltishall

I moved around the site, looking at the hangers – and peering through windows. The hangers are massive, really massive so had to keep switching lenses from 50mm to 11mm to get the right photos

Hangers at RAF Coltishall

Hangers at RAF Coltishall

Hangers at RAF Coltishall

Hangers at RAF Coltishall

Royal Air Force - Coltishall Insignia

Royal Air Force - Coltishall Insignia

RAF Coltishall Insignia on the Hangers

RAF Coltishall Insignia on the Hangers

Royal Air Force Coltishall - Main Hanger

Royal Air Force Coltishall - Main Hanger

Outbuildings at RAF Coltishall

Outbuildings at RAF Coltishall

Thought these labels were interesting

:)

T BIRD / BOMBER at RAF Coltishall

T BIRD / BOMBER at RAF Coltishall

Went over to the ground support area to look at the differing array of buildings – looks like some of this was underground

Armament Ground Support at RAF Coltishall

Armament Ground Support at RAF Coltishall

RAF Coltishall Crew Room

RAF Coltishall Crew Room

Guided Weapons at RAF Coltishall

Guided Weapons at RAF Coltishall

This entire site holds so much history – in the time its been closed down, it still looks like it is in service – the condition is testament to the care that was put into it from the former service men. My granddad worked at RAF Colitshall in ground armament and is one of two people left alive team he used to work with. The set of photos will provide some good discussions between them

:)

I can only wonder what the next move is for the site – hopefully the runway at some time may be active again.

Hope you enjoy and rest of the set is viewable here

* Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Coltishall

7 comments

#1Martin Coates – Ministry of Justice Estates SectionJanuary 29, 2010, 2:58 pm

Why didn’t you just knock on the door and ask to come in and take some photos? We could have arranged to give you a tour and get the internal shots you wanted!

Please dont trespass here or encourage others to do so, just make an appointment to see the site manager.

We have security because this is a mothballed site due to be sold in the next year or two, always at risk of vandalism or worse, plus there are always potential safety hazzards on a site of this size that need to be explained to visitors, grazing animals to consider and other legitimate users of various areas including police dog training etc. Get in to difficulties out there without anybody knowing and it could be days or weeks before help arrived.

I know its all very exciting pretending to be James Bond but honestly, try the front door next time!

#2sophos9January 29, 2010, 4:16 pm

Martin, Hi

Appreciate and will respect your request – thanks for the contact. I’ve sent you an email in response.

Kind Regards

Dave

#3James BarrettApril 7, 2010, 11:16 am

Hi Dave,

Would it be possible to put me in contact with Martin Coates? I am very interested in the airfield side of RAF Coltishall, and would like to opportunity to discuss this.

Great photos by the way,

Kind regards,

James

#4tobyApril 26, 2010, 2:37 pm

a reply to martin at raf coltishall the only reason we tresspass to get photo’s is in my experiance to actually get the shots we want the amount of times ive asked to be let into places and been told over and over again there is 100% no chance of being aloud to take photo’s,to be honest martin you are the only person ive come across that is willing to put themselvs out to help urban explorers were not out to damage or deface any of the property we visit and every place ive explored has been left in the way ive found it,and last but not least can (martin) you try an organise to let me in the coltishall site,please email me imachava@hotmail.com many thanks Toby

#5sophos9May 6, 2010, 4:56 pm

Despite Martin’s help, I’m afraid that no one got in contact and despite a couple of additional requests to other related parties I’m yet to find any way to take photos of this old RAF base.

Real shame but thanks for trying to help Martin

Dave

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