TG3234 : East Anglian Real Property Company farm shed at Paston

taken 10 months ago, near to Paston, Norfolk, Great Britain

East Anglian Real Property Company farm shed at Paston
East Anglian Real Property Company farm shed at Paston
See the shared description.
East Anglian Real Property Company farm sheds
Only twelve (perhaps thirteen) of these unusually shaped buildings have been recorded in Norfolk.
There are two each in

Sporle (Breckland) > LinkExternal link - LinkExternal link
Buckenham (Broadland) > LinkExternal link - LinkExternal link
Cantley (Broadland) > LinkExternal link - LinkExternal link and
Guestwick (Broadland) > LinkExternal link - LinkExternal link

and one each at

Beighton (Broadland) > LinkExternal link
Halvergate (Broadland) > LinkExternal link
Reedham (Broadland) > LinkExternal link
Paston (North Norfolk) > LinkExternal link
and in Southrepps (North Norfolk) - location has as yet to be found

Built in 1936 or 1937 by the Dutch-owned East Anglian Real Property Company, a Dutch farming consortium which started business in 1929, on land that is said to have been occupied or owned by Dutch farmers at the time, it has been suggested by the York-based English Heritage military specialist Roger Thomas, who also claims to have uncovered a Nazi plot to capture King George VI, that the barns were built by a 5th column of Nazi agents on the sites of secret improvised airfields intended to be used by German aircraft for landing Hitler's troops on farms close to the royal family’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, this despite the fact that the two barns nearest to Sandringham are located 24 kilometres (15 miles) away and that all others are dotted about North and South Norfolk, ie the other end of the county.

When in 1940 the Royal Air Force had been surveying the UK for suitable sites for their extensive program of airfield expansion, the engineers noticed the unusual buildings and suspected that they might be intended to be used as aircraft hangars, disguised as Dutch barns, all the more so since nearby hedges and drainage ditches had been removed. The buildings, although they do not look anything like Dutch barns, which are open-sided and have a semi-cylindrical corrugated iron roof, were referred to as such because they had been built by a Dutch company. Subsequently, arrests were made and the sites dug up and obstructed so as to prevent the creation of landing grounds. The arrested farmers, all of them said to have been Dutch nationals, were however found to be entirely innocent and hence soon set free again.

A record of these events is apparently kept at the National Archives but confirmation of the buildings having been constructed in order to serve a purpose other than farming has so far eluded historians other than Roger Thomas. Considering the fact that it would be a huge struggle if not to say impossible trying to fit an aircraft through doors barely wide enough for a modern tractor to pass through, the existence in Norfolk of a nest of (Dutch) enemy spies secretly working for the Third Reich is perhaps best relegated to the rumour mill and the various other fantasies it contains, German parachutists dressed as nuns being only one.

The East Anglian Real Property Company is documented to have been one of the pioneers of sugar beet production in East Anglia. Dr Susanna Wade-Martins, Honorary Research Fellow at the School of History and Professor Tom Williamson, both from the University of East Anglia, describe the buildings, which were referred to as "red barns" - because the corrugated asbestos sheeting at the gable ends was originally painted red - as having been constructed for the purpose of storing sugar beet.
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TG3234, 30 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 22 September, 2017   (more nearby)
Friday, 22 September, 2017
Geographical Context
Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 32353 34530 [1m precision]
WGS84: 52:51.4846N 1:26.9979E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 3236 3450
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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