Monument record ORF 178 - Former RFC Officers' Mess and AWRE canteen building

Please read our .


Grade II Listed building. Former RFC Officers' Mess and AWRE canteen building.


Grid reference Centred TM 4333 4863 (27m by 26m)
Map sheet TM44NW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

2007: Field survey of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment by Historic England (S1).

The Officers' Mess was built by the RFC in approximately 1915 and was used by Watson-Watt for early experiments on radar.

MATERIALS. The former Officers' Mess is constructed from pre-cast concrete blocks with a felted and pitched timber roof; the AWRE extension to the west is in red brick.

PLAN A 'T' shape overall.

EXTERIOR The former Officers' Mess is a four-bay building with a gable roof with four timber casement windows to the north and south elevations (some are early C21 replica timber windows). The principal entrance is at the east elevation. At the south elevation is a truncated brick chimney stack, presumably for a stove or fireplace.

Attached at the west end is a single-storey, flat-roofed 1950s extension with casement windows and a door at the west elevation.

INTERIOR There are few fixtures and fittings remaining; the exposed Belfast roof trusses of the 1915 phase have been partially reconstructed.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES. A number of concrete footings and mast bases, thought to consist of 2 groups of 4 for transmitters to the north and south of the building, and one single large base for a receiver to the west, relate to the radar experimentation of the mid 1930s.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Cocroft, W. and Alexander, M.. 2009. Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Orford Ness, Suffolk Cold War Research & Development Site Survey Report. 10-2009. Structure No. C13.
  • <S2> Digital archive: Historic England. The National Heritage List for England. List entry Number: 1416867.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jun 27 2016 1:37PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.