Record Details

NHER Number:17225
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bronze Age ring ditches

Summary

A group of three large Bronze Age round barrows are visible on aerial photographs to the south of Browston Hall. Other round barrows have been recorded within this area (NHER 45168-72). These are all located on the eastern side of plateau defined by the 15m contour, the round barrows are all positioned on or near to this contour on the plateau edge or valley side. This group of three larger barrows are located further down the valley side overlooking a minor northern arm of the Fritton valley. These barrows have previously been interpreted as Roman hut circles.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 502 016
Map Sheet:TG50SW
Parish:BELTON WITH BROWSTON, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

THE TRACKWAY PREVIOUSLY RECORDED UNDER THIS NUMBER IS NOW WITHIN NHER 43544. THE LINEARS ARE RECORDED UNDER NHER 45154 AND 45174.

19 July 1977, 6 July, 1 August, 12 September 1978, 17 August 1981. NAU air photography (S1).
Cropmarks.
Marks of two ring ditches to the south-east of Browston Hall.
Interpretation as possible barrow sites may be in doubt as in close proximity to cropmarks of what might be a villa site (NHER 11434). Alternative interpretation may be that these are round houses associated with the latter.
D. Edwards (NAU) 17 December 1980.

Also a third ring ditch to south-west with linear features.
D. Edwards (NAU) 17 December 1981.

Site extended to north-east to take in air photographs of July 1980 showing cropmarks of trackway and linear features.
D. Edwards (NAU) 15 July 1982.

2 July 1996. NLA air photography (S2).
Two large ring ditches still clearly visible.
S. Massey (NLA), 23 July 2001.

October 2006. Norfolk NMP.
A group of three large Bronze Age round barrows are visible on aerial photographs to the south of Browston Hall (S3-S6). The site is centred on TG 5029 0163. These barrows are located within an area of complex and overlapping enclosures and field boundaries, dating from the late prehistoric to the Roman period. Other round barrows have been recorded within this area (NHER 45168-72). These are all located on the eastern side of plateau defined by the 15m contour. The round barrows are all positioned on or near to this contour, either on the plateau edge or valley side. This group of three larger barrows are located further down the valley side overlooking a minor northern arm of the Fritton valley. A sinuous trackway runs through this barrow group (NHER 43544), a late prehistoric origin for this track has been suggested and it is possible that it is sited on the round barrows.

The largest of the group is located to the southwest at TG 5023 0156 and consists of a 50m diameter ring ditch, 2-3m wide (S5). In the interior is a small curvilinear ditch forming a flattened semi-circular shape, 8m long and 3.5m across, plus a similarly sized kidney-shaped ditch. The positioning of these features within the ring ditch could suggest that they are contemporary and may possibly have been associated with internments within the barrow, however it could also be unrelated and of a different date. A great number of geological cropmarks are also visible within the ring ditch and it is feasible that the ditches mapped are also the product of underlying geological features. This ring ditch is towards the top end of usual size range for barrows, and given the presence of possible internal features, an alternative interpretation of a circular enclosure or small settlement could be suggested. Although given the position of the monument within a barrow group and the lack of a break in the ditch, a round barrow seems the most likely interpretation.

The two barrows to the northeast, centred on TG 5032 0167 and TG 5037 0169, are much smaller, 36m (external) and 33m (external) respectively. Both have extremely wide ditches, up to 4m (S3). The cropmark of former central mound, bisected by a field boundary, is visible in 1955 (S3) on the easternmost barrow the group. The presence of this internal mound adds further evidence to these sites not being the remains of Roman round houses as suggested in an earlier record.
S. Massey (NMP), 20 October 2006

Monument Types

  • CIRCULAR ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • CIRCULAR ENCLOSURE? (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD?)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Aerial Photograph: TG5001 U-AA,AD-AG,AJ-AK,AP-AQ,AY-ABD,ABP-R,ABX-Y,ACQ,ACR,ACY-ADC.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 5001ADU - ADV.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 58/1674 (F21) 0319-20 04-MAR-1955 (NMR).
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1989. NHER TG 5001ACQ (NLA 233/DPH2) 04-JUL-1989.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1990. NHER TG 5001ADB (NLA 271/GDA4) 12-JUL-1990.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Grady, D. (NMR). 2002. NMR TG 5001/104 (NMR 21739/1) 30-SEP-2002.

Related records - none

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