Hidden History - Orford Ness, Suffolk / by Shaun Armstrong

Secret atomic testing base still has secrets to tell…

Sleepy Orford Ness. In the background the multi£ US cold-war listening complex - Cobra Mist

Sleepy Orford Ness. In the background the multi£ US cold-war listening complex - Cobra Mist

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I recently spent a day, with a good friend, exploring the large area of essentially shingle and marsh off the coast of Suffolk, known as Orford Ness. Originally a natural spit of land created through long-shore drift (check your school Geography) and now a nature reserve under the control of the National Trust, in between it was the site of cutting-edge military research.

Boarding a small boat from the quaint seaside village of Orford, with its castle, agreeable restaurants and specialist food emporiums, the (literally) three minute water crossing takes you to another world.

Despite its quiet and desolate beauty, many of the part-destroyed buildings remain still largely intact but spread across acres of flat, but eerily wavy, shingle; an attraction for my interest in documenting the shapes, details and textures offered by intriguing places + spaces.

All images shot with Fuji X-Pro2 and 23mm 1.2.

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