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A history of the James Paget site


The James Paget University Hospital is located on a site where there is evidence of prehistoric and Roman activity.

Aerial photography held by the Norfolk Museums Service has shown the likely remains of a Bronze Age barrow by the hospital site. Barrows can be identified as round mounds, often surrounded by a ‘ring ditch’ from which the earth and stone for the mound was dug.  There were primarily burial places but were also used for carrying out the many other community rituals.

More recently, the site was heavily defended in World War Two, with a searchlight battery located just to the west of the hospital and a heavy anti-aircraft battery to the east. These features can be seen in the photograph below, taken in 1945, which is reproduced courtesy of Norfolk County Council.

In June 1953, a United States Airforce jet fighter - a North American Sabre - based at RAF Bentwaters, near Woodbridge - caught fire and crashed on what is now the hospital car park.

A black and white RAF aerial photo of the James Paget site in 1945. This is mostly open fields but with the main road and railway between Lowestoft and Gorleston visible on the right hand side and the gun battery, etc, as detailed in the text.