TL8392 : St Mary's Church

taken 10 years ago, near to West Tofts, Norfolk, Great Britain

St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church
The village was evacuated during World War II and has since formed part of the Army's Stanford battle training area. The church is the only building remaining intact in the village, and is normally accessible only for two services each year.
STANTA
STANTA stands for STANford Training Area situated roughly TL 8495.
The area was established in 1942 when a battle training area was required and a 'Nazi village' established. Military exercises were already taking place in the area; tanks had deployed to Thetford in the First World War. The complete takeover involved the complete evacuation of the villages of Buckenham Tofts, Langford, Stanford, Sturston, Tottington and West Tofts. The occupants of the houses were all rehoused in the belief that they would be allowed to return after the war. However the site was so valuable to the military that they have taken up permanent occupancy.
The area was used during the run-up to the D-Day invasion and since then has hosted many exercises.
The battle area includes four historic churches; the one at West Tofts was restored by Pugin and a new "church" forms part of the specially constructed village of Eastmere. Eastmere was originally built to give soldiers experience of fighting on the northern European plains.
There is a short landing strip for Harrier aircraft at TL 8332 9704
As a live firing area, access is not allowed without special permission from the Army. In the main this is limited to a number of tours a year and compassionate grounds for former residents of the villages or their relatives.
The area forms part of the distinctive Breckland landscape region, a gorse-covered sandy heath which offers poor agricultural opportunities but farms are still active and sheep graze within its confines. Arguably, its use as a military training area has safeguarded a substantial archaeological landscape. It is the home of a wealth of rare species of flora and fauna already lost in other parts of the country. Parts of the training area are designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The battle area was used in the filming of many of the episodes of the TV comedy series, Dad's Army.
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TL8392, 125 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 18 July, 2007   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 18 July, 2007
Category
Church   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 836 929 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:30.1847N 0:42.2242E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 836 928
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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