Fritton Lake

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View across Fritton Decoy The view is southwesterly towards Ashby Warren, May 2008

Fritton Lake or Fritton Decoy is a lake in the English county of Norfolk. It is a popular local tourist attraction located south-west of Great Yarmouth and north-west of Lowestoft on the Norfolk–Suffolk border.[1]

The lake originated as a medieval peat excavation. After it flooded, it came into use as a duck decoy, a site designed for the large-scale hunting of waterfowl.[2] Artificial water channels covered with net-tunnels were constructed around the lake. Ducks would be encouraged to swim down the channels using dogs or food and would be trapped on reaching the end. At one point, 21 such channels were in operation around the lake, four remained in operation in 1918.[3]

During World War 2, a secret training facility was located at Fritton Lake. Its purpose was to train tank crews of DD tanks – amphibious versions of British Valentine Tanks and American-made Sherman tanks. Between April 1943 and May 1944 British, American, and Canadian units came to Fritton Lake to be trained in the use of these tanks.[4] One tank that sank during training remains in the lake to the present day.[2]

The site remained in military use into the early 1950s as part of the Specialised Armoured Development Establishment,[5] during which further amphibious experiments and trials were undertaken.

Fritton Lake is a very popular tourist attraction, containing the Fritton Arms, Fritton Lake Outdoor Centre, Lakeside Riding Stables and Fritton Lake Woodland Lodges. There is a Pay and Display Car Park adjacent to the Fritton Arms, and visitors may enjoy use of the play ground and lakeside walks as part of their admission. Further activities are available through the Outdoor Centre, such as boat and canoe hire, rope walks, bike hire and golf.[citation needed]

The Fritton Lake Triathlon includes an open-water swim in the lake.[6]


  1. ^ Somerleyton | Fritton Lake Activities in Suffolk, UK
  2. ^ a b "NHER Number:13527". Norfolk Heritage Explorer. Norfolk Historic Environment Service. 
  3. ^ Whitaker, J. (1918). British duck decoys of today, 1918. London : Burlington Pub. Co. pp. 73–75. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Public Record Office, Kew WO 341/184
  6. ^ Fritton Lake Triathlon,

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°32′35″N 1°39′32″E / 52.543°N 1.659°E / 52.543; 1.659