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Historic England Research Records

Starfish Bombing Decoy Sf10d

Hob Uid: 1469768
Location :
North Yorkshire
Hambleton
Redcar and Cleveland
Great Ayton, Guisborough, Kildale
Grid Ref : NZ6076211837
Summary : A Second World War bombing decoy site at Guisborough. It was built in June 1941 as a 'Strategic Starfish' site to deflect enemy bombing from the city of Middlesbrough. The 'Starfish' decoy operated by lighting a series of controlled fires during an air raid to replicate an urban area targeted by bombs. The 'Strategic Starfish' were designed to reconstruct a general urban area rather than replicate specific features of its target city. The site is referenced as being operational until 1943, but could have been in use until early 1945. Further 'Starfish' bombing decoy sites for Middlesbrough were located at Middleton, Kirkleatham, Guisborough, Sneaton Moor and Newton Bewley. The decoy was mapped from air photographs as part of the North York Moors NMP, as was the control bunker situated 640m to the north-west. The decoy earthworks appear to be no longer extant on the latest 2009 vertical photography.
More information : A Second World War 'Permanent Starfish' bombing decoy located at Guisborough (NZ 608 118). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from Middlesbrough. It is referenced as being in use between 01-AUG-1941 and 08-APR-1943. Further 'Starfish' sites for Middlesbrough were located at Middleton (NZ 480 113), Kirkleatham (NZ 616 193), Osmotherley (SE 476 987), Sneaton Moor (NZ 903 029) and Newton Bewley (NZ 475 260). (1)

Aerial photography from 1972 shows that the site is a grouse moor and no surviving features of the decoy are visible. (2)

NGR concords with that given in source 1. The 'Strategic Starfish' decoy at Guisborough was built to protect Middlesbrough. The last bombing decoy sites for Middlesbrough were decommissioned in March 1945. (3)

The Second World War bombing decoy is visible as earthworks on air photographs, centred at NZ 6076 1183. The control bunker to the decoy is located 640m to the north-west and has been recorded separately (UID 1415788). Some of the internal fire baskets were partially visible on historic photography, but not with enough detail to be mapped. Disturbance to the south-east of the earthworks may suggest that the decoy was larger than that mapped. The earthworks appear to be no longer extant on the latest 2009 vertical photography.
(4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 3. Bombing decoys of WWII : England's passive air defences, 1939-45
Source details :
Page(s) : 144,149
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites
Source details :
Page(s) : 60
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 135,260
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF/106G/UK/1700 5230 27-AUG-1946
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Built in 1941
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1941
Monument Type : Bombing Decoy, Starfish Site
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Levelled Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 58096.2
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 3976
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 3974
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 3975
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 58096.3
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (N Yorks Moors National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : 58096
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 61 SW 97
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1345990
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1415788
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1464021
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1414277
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1415790
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1415789
Relationship type : General association

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