The Pagodas and Control Tower, 1995

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART 16588
Art and Popular Design
Production date
  • Support: paper
  • medium: charcoal
  • Support: Height 570 mm, Width 773 mm
  • Mount: Height 774 mm, Width 976 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: drawing

Purchase & License
Object description

image: a large ramshackle concrete building, shaped like a Japanese pagoda, stands in the left of the composition. There is a square shaped building on the right, which is a control tower.


This is one of three drawings by Dennis Creffield depicting parts of Orford Ness, a large shingle spit on the Suffolk coast in Eastern England. This location was used for conducting secret military testing during the two world wars, including being used in the early experiments for radar. During the Cold War the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment used the site for 'environmental testing' of mechanisms of nuclear weapons. Buildings from this time remain on the site, including the distinctive-looking 'pagodas' depicted in Creffield's drawings. These were designed to absorb any accidental explosions, though it is maintained that no nuclear technology was tested on the site. As a site of internationally scarce vegetated shingle habitat, Orford Ness is now a designated National Nature Reserve, administered by the National Trust.


Dennis Creffield '95 (signed)

Associated people and organisations
Associated places
Associated themes
Associated keywords

Fair Dealing

All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.