Record Details

NHER Number:11929
Type of record:Monument
Name:Great or Little Breckles deserted medieval village


This is the probable site of Great Breckles or Little Breckles medieval settlement. It was a separate town in Domesday, but the manor was extinct by 1547 and the church was demolished before the reign of Edward III (1327-77). Aerial photographs of the area show the cropmarks and earthworks of a hollow way, enclosures, linear features and tofts (see also NHER 18834). Medieval pottery sherds have been recovered from the site, which survives intact under good grass cover.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 9599 9445
Map Sheet:TL99SE

Full description

A separate town in Domesday, but manor was extinct by 1547 and church was demolished before reign of Edward III (1327-77).
OS inspectors reported seeing cropmarks at above grid reference on air photographs.
Information from Ordnance Survey card.
This site is disputed by [1] who believes that these marks are the shrunken village of Great Breckles.
See NHER 12152.

19 April 1976. Ordnance Survey aerial photography.
D. Voisey (NLA) 18 January 1995.

1996. Site extended to cover all of field between church and hall, including site NHER 18834.
Hollow way, enclosures, linear features and tofts are marked on 1:1000 earthwork survey in file.
Pottery finds as noted in report.
B. Cushion (NLA) September 1996.

Site under good grass. No poaching.
H. Paterson (NLA) 18 March 1999.

October 2012. Norfolk NMP.
The centre of the site has been amended from TL 9596 9453 to TL 9602 9441 as a result of the NMP mapping, in order to encompass further earthworks visible to the south of Breckles Hall drive, which have been included in the NMR record for the site (NMR TL 99SE 3) as part of the possible deserted medieval settlement.
It was not possible to add a great deal to the earthwork survey already completed of the area (S15) from the aerial photographs (S1-S14), but the features in the northern field visible on the photographs have been mapped and largely correspond with those already recorded.
As described above, the most prominent feature is a hollow way, which is visible running northwest-southeast from St Margaret’s Church to Breckles Hall, from TL 9592 9459 to TL 9607 9454. To the north and south of the hollow way further ditches are visible forming possible field boundaries, although these ditches have clearly been utilised for drainage in later years.
An area of possible enclosures, which may represent medieval tofts, is visible to the southwest of the area facing the main road. These enclosures are more degraded in appearance, and are considered more likely to represent medieval settlement. This area is centred on TL 9589 9447, and the only possible additional feature to those recorded during the earthwork survey is visible in the form of a narrow ditch running from a possible pond feature at TL 9589 9444 to the outer enclosure ditch, although it was difficult to be certain of this as the earthworks have been mapped from an imperfectly rectified oblique photograph and therefore cannot be considered entirely reliable. It may also be possible to discern earthworks in the field to the north-east of the church on at least one set of photographs (S3), centred on TL 9596 9473, but none of these features were clear enough to map, and were considered likely to be modern trackways or drainage ditches.
To the south of Breckles Hall Drive, another possible hollow way is visible running from TL 9610 9442 to TL 9599 9434 (S1-S3, S10), although it is difficult to be certain about this feature as it may be a field boundary ditch. Some rather unusual curvilinear cropmarks are visible in the south of the area on some later photographs (S10), although it is possible that these are agricultural marks and have therefore not been mapped.
E. Ford (NMP), 30 October 2012.

Monument Types

  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE PLATFORM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHRUNKEN VILLAGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOFT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: 3G TUD UK 101 6149-50. NAU TL9594 D,E; TL9694 A,B,K,L,M,P-R; OS 76-018-077.
---Aerial Photograph: OS 76-018-076.
---Aerial Photograph: OS 76-018-077.
---Aerial Photograph: OS 76-018-078.
---Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A.. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 104. p 40.
---Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1997. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1996. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt IV pp 547-564. p 560.
<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/101 6149-50 30-MAR-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/101 6183-4 30-MAR-1946 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. NHER TL9593 A (RAF 106G/UK/1634 5367) 09-JUL-1946.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Crawford. Unknown. TL 9593/1 CCC11752/1788 XX-XXX-XXXX (NMR).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1966. CUCAP (AMU13-15) 03-JAN-1966 (CUCAP).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1976. OS/76018 076-7 19-APR-1976 (NMR).
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TL9694 A-B (NLA 47/AJE19, 25) 21-JUL-1977.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1984. NHER TL9594 B-C (NLA 149/AWU27-8) 27-APR-1984.
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1984. NHER TL9594 D-E (NLA 141/AUS9-10) 04-APR-1984.
<S10>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1984. NHER TL9694 K-M (NLA 141/AUS7,8,11) 04-APR-1984.
<S11>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1988. NHER TL9694 N-R (NLA 201/DUZ 14, DVA 1-3) 08-JUL-1988.
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1994. OS/94503 170 23-SEPT-1994 (NMR).
<S13>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1996. OS/96539 009-10 21-APR-1996 (NMR).
<S14>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Infoterra and Bluesky Ltd. 2006. Infoterra and Bluesky Ltd (Google Earth TL 9602 9441) 02-JUL-2006.
<S15>Secondary File: Secondary file.

Related records

18834Related to: Medieval and post medieval metal objects (Find Spot)

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