Record Details

NHER Number:12828
Type of record:Monument
Name:Multi-period cropmark complex at Nova Scotia Farm

Summary

An extensive multi-period cropmark complex, incorporating a possible Bronze Age field system, a rectangular enclosure, trackway and field system of possible Iron Age to Roman date and other undated linear and curvilinear ditches, is visible on aerial photographs. Ring ditches previously recorded as part of this group of cropmarks are now recorded separately as (NHER 27605 to 7). Excavation in 1999 carried out by the NAU as part of the Bacton to Great Yarmouth gas pipeline project revealed a complex series of prehistoric ditches and pits.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 5034 1377
Map Sheet:TG51SW
Parish:ORMESBY ST MARGARET WITH SCRATBY, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK
WEST CAISTER, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

5 September 1970. Ordnance Survey air photography.
Cropmarks: ring ditch and linears.
See (S1) for further details.
D. Gurney (NAU)

1976.
Complex of cropmarks including north to south trackway, and traces of another east to west, between and overlain by amorphous enclosures. Also an apparent ring ditch.
Information from (S3-S5).
Located by E. Rose (NAU) 14 September 1977.

Extends south into West Caister parish.

December 1979. In east edge of field, northwest of Nova Scotia Farm.
Found on ploughed surface.
Two prehistoric struck flint flakes.
Seen by A. Gregory (NAU) 13 January 1980.
A. Gregory (NAU) 16 January 1980.

December 1979. In west side of field, northwest of Nova Scotia Farm.
Found on ploughed surface.
One unglazed Early medieval rim sherd from cooking pot.
Seen by A. Gregory (NAU) 13 January 1980.
A. Gregory (NAU) 16 January 1980.

1993.
Extent of east to west linear marks greatly extended on Ordnance Survey aerial photograph.

January-April 1997. Systematic Fieldwalking and Metal-detecting Survey.
Field survey on proposed route of Bacton to Great Yarmouth pipeline (Field/Location RDX 34.3; Context 4).
A concentration of prehistoric worked flint was recorded, including a blade, flakes, and retouched flakes. The flints were concentrated towards the southern end of the plot and clustered in raised areas. Concentrations of worked flint were also observed in RDX 34.2 (NHER 34032) to the north and RDX 34.4 (NHER 34033)) to the south. Together, this records a general flint scatter covering approximately 1250m.
See report (S2) for further details.
The archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2011.55 and NWHCM : 2017.395).
E. Rose (NLA) November 1998. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 May 2019.

November 1998. Systematic Fieldwalking Survey.
Additional field survey on proposed route of Bacton to Great Yarmouth pipeline (Field/Location RDX 34.3; Site 10).
This area was selected for further, more detailed fieldwalking but cropping regimes prevented access.
See report (S11) for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 3 June 2008.

November 1998. Geophysical Survey.
Bacton to Great Yarmouth Gas Pipeline (Site 10 - Areas B and C).
Geophysical Survey along the 30m easement of the proposed pipeline recorded anomalies interpreted as possible clusters of pits in Area B. However, only weak susceptibility variations were recorded in this area and therefore the anomalies are unlikely to indicate the presence of dense settlement features.
See (S12) for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 04 June 2008.

March-May 1999. Excavation.
Excavation on route of Bacton to Great Yarmouth pipeline (Site 10S).
Many of the ditches excavated relate to a series of cropmark features representing a coaxial field system and associated enclosures. Although many of the ditches could not be dated by finds most dating evidence suggests a Bronze Age date. Two small pits were also excavated in the northern area of the site contained fills including flecks of charcoal, a sherd of Late Bronze Age pottery, pieces of burnt flint and possible fragment of daub.
At the northern end of the site a pair of parallel ditches were excavated but no finds were recovered, however, their orientation suggests that they could form part of an Iron Age field system. Although the ditch contained a sherd of Bronze Age pottery, six flints including a core, a single retouched flake and utilised flakes it has more in common with ditches to the north, which are more cardinally orientated and thought to be of a later possibly Iron Age date.
In the southern area of the site three parallel ditches were excavated two of them 5m apart with all being visible as cropmarks. It is possible that the ditches represent a trackway and boundaries of relatively late possible post-medieval date. The track is not shown on Faden's map of Norfolk (1797) so may have gone out of use by then. Three evenly spaced features may represent trees planted along the side of this boundary.
See draft publication (S10) and assessment report (S14) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S15).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2011.55 and NWHCM : 2017.395).
S. Howard (NLA), 4 February 2010. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 May 2019.

September 2005. Norfolk NMP.
An extensive multi-period cropmark complex, incorporating an undated, possibly Bronze Age, coaxial field system, a rectangular enclosure, trackway and field system of possible Iron Age to Roman date and other undated and post medieval linear and curvilinear ditches, is visible on aerial photographs (S3) to (S9). The area of these cropmarks has been extended by the NMP mapping and the central grid reference has been adjusted from TG 5035 1385 to TG 5040 1384 accordingly. A section through this cropmark complex has been excavated as Site 10 on the Bacton to Yarmouth gas pipeline route enabling some of the features to be accurately dated (S10). Ring ditches previously recorded as part of this group of cropmarks are now recorded separately as (NHER 27605 to 7).

The cropmark complex extends for over 1000m by 880m in size and is dominated by ditches on southwest to northeast and northwest to southeast alignments. The majority of the ditches on these alignments appear to be part of a fragmentary coaxial field system. This is a continuation of a coaxial field system that is located further to the southwest (NHER 12996). The field system is more clearly visible in that area due to a lack of later cropmarks cutting across it.

A single linear ditch cropmark between TG 5011 1354 and TG 5041 1388 appears to be a continuation of a ditch from the southwestern part of the field system. This ditch terminates in a T junction with a northwest to southeast ditch and forms the boundary of at least 6 fields. These fields measure up to 135m by 130m in size. The northwest to southeast aligned ditch forming the top of the T junction extends for at least 340m on a curvilinear course between TG 5022 1401 and TG 5048 1381. The northwestern end of this ditch turns to the southwest for 160m. To the north and west of this ditch are fragmentary ditch cropmarks on the same coaxial alignments possibly indicating a continuation of the field system in these directions. A possible complete field, measuring 37m by 27m is present within this area at TG 5024 1410. Parallel linear ditches within this part of the cropmark complex at TG 5005 1415 and TG 5026 1413 may define trackways in the field system.

The southeastern part of the cropmark complex contains a number of smaller and less regular fields and enclosures centred on TG 5051 1357. However, their overall alignment is similar to that of the coaxial field system and they are likely to be contemporary with it. The majority of the enclosures present in this area are incomplete, making it difficult to be certain of their true dimensions. However, some fields measure 46m by 37m, 39m by 30m and 44m by 23m. Ditches defining a group of small fields at TG 5054 1342 and TG 5055 1340 contained Late Bronze Age Pottery and flints when excavated in advance of the gas pipeline (S10). Ditches defining a polygonal enclosure centred on TG 5057 1355 also contained worked flints (S10). Although its southwest side is not fully visible as a cropmark, this enclosure appears to have an irregular polygonal plan. It is defined by a 2m wide ditch and measures at least 49m by 34m internally. Two entrances are visible in the northern corner of the enclosure and a further one is present in its southern side. A linear ditch that joins the eastern corner of this enclosure lies on the same alignment as the field system and suggests that they are both contemporary. Two parallel ditches on the same roughly northwest to southeast alignment as the field system at TG 5056 1363 also produced Bronze Age pottery and flints during the excavation (S10). It is possible that the curvilinear enclosure and those grouped around it are a settlement of Late Bronze Age date. An incomplete ring ditch is present to the south of these enclosures at TG 5044 1352. It has a 13m diameter with a narrow ditch that has a 9m wide opening on its southeast side. It is possible that it is a roundhouse of Bronze Age or Iron Age date associated with the settlement.

Apparently overlying the coaxial field system are cropmarks of a rectilinear enclosure and trackway. In contrast to the field system these features are aligned roughly north to south and west to east. The trackway extends for up to 450m between TG 5050 1377 to TG 5059 1420 and is defined by two roughly parallel ditches that measure up to 3.5m across. The distance between the two trackway ditches is 22m at its southern end. It then narrows to 3.5m and the ditches merge into one 10m wide positive cropmark for a distance of 28m. It is possible that this is a section of the trackway that had become hollowed through use and consequently shows as a positive cropmark. The trackway then widens out to a maximum of 17m before continuing intermittently to the north. Funnel type trackways of this type are usually associated with the management of livestock. Attached to the western side of the enclosure at its southern end is a large rectangular enclosure. This is defined in the most part by a 3m wide ditch and measures 144m by 75m externally. The southern part of the enclosure is sub-divided into three sections, which measures 39m, 52m and 33m across. The northern side of these areas appears to be defined by a curvilinear ditch that cuts across the enclosure. This ditch extends for 360m between TG 5018 1397 and TG 5050 1382. Ditches associated with both the rectangular enclosure and the coaxial field system appear to respect and cut across it, suggesting that it may be an early feature that partly survived in the landscape. Ditches adjoining the western end of the rectangular enclosure also appear to respect the curvilinear ditch, forming a roughly trapezoidal enclosure attached to it and centred on TG 5032 1385. Ditches parallel to the rectangular enclosure to its north between TG 5039 1401 and TG 5055 1399 and from TG 5036 1410 to TG 5056 1408 appear to join the western side of the trackway. These and other roughly west to east aligned ditches may form a field system associated with the enclosure. A broken pattern of west to east and north to south ditches are present across the northeastern part of the cropmark complex. These extend across to a broad, north to south aligned ditch between TG 5080 1384 and TG 5082 1406, which cuts a curvilinear enclosure at its northern end (NHER 27608). Further west to east aligned ditches are present in the southern part of the cropmark complex around TG 5049 1358. A west to east aligned ditch, probably the same one represented by the cropmark between TG 5057 1378 and TG 5078 1375, produced Iron Age pottery during the pipeline excavation (S10). It is possible that the trackway, rectangular enclosure and its associated ditches may also be of Iron Age to Roman date.

Three ring ditches of possible Bronze Age round barrows are located within the area of the field system (NHERs 27605 to 27607). They are not crossed by any of the coaxial field system ditches, but are cut but west to east ditches of unknown date. Isolated sections of undated ditch cropmark, which are not clearly associated with either of the two field systems or the modern field pattern, are present across the whole area of the cropmark complex. Others, such as the intermittent ditch between TG 5038 1355 and TG 5064 1355 have been proven by the excavation to be of post medieval date.
J. Albone (NMP), 2 September 2005.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • POLYGONAL ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)
  • COAXIAL FIELD SYSTEM (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FIELD (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POLYGONAL ENCLOSURE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC)? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • SETTLEMENT? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • TRACKWAY (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • DITCH (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BLADE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CORE (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)
  • DENTICULATE (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FLAKE (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)
  • KNIFE? (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)
  • BARBED AND TANGED ARROWHEAD (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 299 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Illustration: Voisey, D.. 1996. Plot. 11 January.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Crowson, A. 1997. Bacton to Great Yarmouth Power Station Pipeline Archaeological Fieldwalking Survey. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 262. RDX 34.3.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 5013A (NLA 31/AFS24) 08-JUL-1976.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 5013B (NLA 31/AFT1) 08-JUL-1976.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 5013C-F (NLA 31/AFT3-6) 08-JUL-1976.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 5013H (NLA 78/ANK8) 09-JUN-1980.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Jeavons, A.. 1996. NHER TG 5014K-L (JEAVONS -/KRD11-12) 02-JUL-1996.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP (BYJ22-23) 29-JUN-1976.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70315 053-054 11-SEP-1970.
<S10>Unpublished Report: Bates, S. 2008. Archaeological work on the line of the Bacton to Great Yarmouth Gas Pipeline, Norfolk, 1997-9. Publication draft. Site 10 (South), pp 52-59.
<S11>Unpublished Contractor Report: Crowson, A. 1998. Bacton-to-Great Yarmouth Power Station Pipeline. Archaeological Fieldwalking Survey. Part II. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 362. Site 10 (RDX 34.3).
<S12>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bartlett, A. D. H. 1998. Bacton to Great Yarmouth Pipeline. Report on Archaeogeophysical Survey. Bartlett-Clark Consultancy. Site 10 (Areas B-C).
<S14>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. and Crowson, A. 2004. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design for Archaeological Excavations and Watching Brief on the Bacton to Great Yarmouth Gas Pipeline, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 924. pp 18, 30, 35.
<S15>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 522.

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