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Historic England Research Records

Starfish Bombing Decoy Sf35e

Hob Uid: 1360177
Location :
Lancashire
Burnley
Dunnockshaw
Grid Ref : SD8092028390
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy site located on the south-facing slope of Hameldon Hill. It was built in January 1941 as a 'Permanent Starfish' site to deflect enemy bombing from the town of Accrington. By the end of 1941 a 'QL' decoy had been incorporated into the site as part of the 'C-series' of civil decoys. The 'Starfish' decoy operated by lighting a series of controlled fires during an air raid to replicate an urban area targeted by bombs. The 'QL' decoy displayed lighting to simulate urban and industrial targets around Accrington. The site is referenced as being in use until 1942. Aerial photography from 1979 shows the survival of two control building mounds at SD 807 283 and several rectilinear firebreaks covering an area of 300 by 500 metres. Further 'Starfish' and civil bombing decoy sites for Accrington were located at Haslingden, Accrington, Burnley and Worsthorne.
More information : SD 80922839. The site of the Hameldon Hill bombing decoy, located on the south-facing slope of Hameldon Hill. It is one of five bombing decoys constructed on the east Lancashire moorlands with the aim of replicating the fire effects of a night bombing raid on Accrington or the surrounding towns. Official records show that work began on the site in early 1941. The bombing decoy comprises the earthwork remains of several firebreaks, within which various types of fires were lit, and the remains of two associated control buildings.

The Hameldon Hill site was initially designed as a 'Permanent Starfish' ('SF' or 'PSF') decoy. During the autumn of 1941, the site was enhanced by the addition of simulated urban lighting ('QL' decoy) and from then on was used as a joint SF/QL site. The simulated urban lighting took the form of railway marshalling yards, furnace glows and locomotive glows. An aerial photograph of 1946 depicts four large areas, defined by firebreaks, and subdivided into compartments by additional firebreaks. Each of these would have contained flammable material, ready to be ignited in case of enemy air attack. The same photograph shows over 20 small rectangular features thought to have been used to replicate the marshalling yards. The control buildings have been demolished but are represented by building platforms and scattered building material. Scheduled. (1)

A Second World War 'Permanent Starfish' bombing decoy located at Hameldon Hill (SD 809 287). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from Accrington. It is referenced as being in use on 20-MAR-1942. It was also the site of a 'QL' decoy, which was built as part of the 'C-series' of civil decoys for Accrington. This is referenced as being in use between 20-MAR-1942 and 01-MAY-1943.
Further 'Starfish' and civil bombing decoys sites for Accrington were located at Haslingden (SD 763 238), Accrington (SD 796 279), Burnley (SD 845 288), and Worsthorne (SD 891 325). (2)

Aerial photography from 1979 shows the survival of two control building mounds at SD 807 283 and several rectilinear firebreaks covering an area of 300 by 500 metres. (3)

NGR concords with that given in source 1. The 'Starfish' sites for Accrington were built in April 1941. The 'C-series' decoys for Accrington were implemented by the end of 1941. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 24-Apr-02
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 3. Bombing decoys of WWII : England's passive air defences, 1939-45
Source details :
Page(s) : 128,135,146,151,162
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 58
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 90,137,221,281
Figs. :
Plates : 18
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Constructed in 1941
Monument End Date : 1942
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Bombing Decoy, Control Room, Starfish Site, Decoy Site Shelter
Evidence : Earthwork, Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 34975
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 82 NW 10
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1469056
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1469060
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1469064
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1469070
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31