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Honington

Photo from Honington

1 Real Ale pub


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Population (2011) of Honington: 1472.


Local licensing authority for Honington is St Edmundsbury.

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About Honington

Honington is tucked away just off the A1088, close to the Black Bourne. The village was listed in Domesday as "Himegetuna" and appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Hynnyton"; today the village is dominated by the RAF base.

Labourers working at the airbase in 1936 discovered a skeleton in a gibbet cage. This is believed to be the remains of John Nichol, executed at Bury gaol for the murder of his daughter in 1794. The body was later hung in a cage at the site of his crime. The body of his son, who was also executed for murder, was later used for anatomical research.

The pastoral poet Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823) was born in the parish.

The Round House, between Honington and Ixworth Thorpe, is all that remains of a post mill that was moved to the site in about 1835 and stopped working about 1895.

RAF Honington was just the third RAF airfield in Suffolk and opened in May 1937. It originally came under Bomber Command and was home to various obsolete bombers including Vickers Wellesley and Hampden Page Heyford planes, but it soon became a base for new Wellington bombers of 9th Squadron. After April 1940 they were to only fly night missions and by August 1942 had flown 272 missions for the loss of 66 aircraft. From September thatyear the USAF used the base as an air depot until steel mats were fitted so that from February 1944, new P38 (Lightnings) of the 364th Fighter Group could operate from the base. The USAF remained here until late February 1946 and this base was actually the last of 122 sites to be relinquished by the "mighty" 8th Air Force.

Acknowledgements

Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record.

Some details from "Suffolk Airfields in WW2" by Graham Smith.