Orford Ness: View of the 'Island' with Lighthouse, 1995

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART 16590
Art and Popular Design
Production date
  • Support: paper
  • medium: charcoal
  • Support: Height 569 mm, Width 773 mm
  • Mount: Height 773 mm, Width 965 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: drawing

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Object description

image: a view of a ramshackle building in the left of the composition alongside Orford Ness lighthouse in the upper centre. In the foreground is a pile of rubble or debris.


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 fissile material 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)

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