Monument record MYO3481 - Second World War bombing decoy site at Fulford


A Second World War bombing decoy site at Fulford. It was built in response to the Baedeker Raids as a 'Temporary Starfish' site to deflect enemy bombing from York. The 'Starfish' decoy operated by lighting a series of controlled fires during an air raid to replicate an urban area targeted by bombs. It became operational on 15th May 1942. Aerial photography shows firebreaks surviving as earthworks at the site.


Grid reference Centred SE 6365 4749 (491m by 513m)
Map sheet SE64NW
Civil Parish Heslington, City of York, North Yorkshire
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

NMR Information:

A World War II military decoy (Starfish) site survives as earthworks, which is visible on air photographs, and is located to the south-east of York (centred at SE 6360 4755). It consists of seven oval ditched enclosures, which were used to contain fires lit as a decoy during World War II air raids. It was constructed and first operational on 15 May 1942. (1)

SE 63684752. The remains of a World War II bombing decoy site located in an area known as Heslington Tillmire, south of York. The site was established to divert enemy bombers from attacking the city and was one of a series of such sites set up to protect towns which were under threat from the Baedeker Raids. The site is first documented on the 12th May 1942 and became operational on the 15th May. It comprised 40 large baskets of inflammable material, electronically fired from a remote location and was a temporary version of the Starfish type of decoy. The firebreaks, which enclosed the fires, survive as earthworks. They consist of shallow ditches defining irregularly shaped enclosures. There are seven such enclosures spread across the site. The decoys were operated from a small building, thought to be located at SE 63904790, but which has been demolished. Scheduled (not site of building). (2)

A Second World War 'Temporary Starfish' bombing decoy located at Fulford (SE 636 474). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from York. It is referenced as being in use on 12-MAY-1942. (3)

Aerial photography from 1974 shows a series of eleven curvilinear firebreaks surviving as cropmarks. (4)

NGR concords with that given in source 1. In response to the Luftwaffe's Baedeker Raids a series of 'Temporary Starfish' decoys were implemented throughout the country at possible target locations. The 'Temporary Starfish' site for York was built in May 1942. (5)

1 Oblique aerial photograph reference number CRA (AJC 97/10) 08-FEB-1987
2 Scheduled Monument Notification 07-Mar-02
3 Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 3. Bombing decoys of WWII : England's passive air defences, 1939-45 154,156 C S Dobinson
4 Twentieth century military recording project: World War Two bombing decoy sites 61 Michael J. Anderton
5 Fields of deception: Britain's bombing decoys of World War II 167,268 Colin Dobinson

Related event: (UID 1463376) LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT Measured Survey 2008-2009

Sources/Archives (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jul 29 2019 11:40AM


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