Record Details

NHER Number:17673
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of field system of possible post-Roman date at Dowe Hill Farm

Summary

Part of a field system of possible post-Roman date is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. It is characterised by long, near-parallel ditches, aligned approximately east-to-west, with other elements oriented at a right angle to these forming a co-axial pattern. It is almost certainly part of the same field system as the cropmarks visible immediately to the west (NHER 27340). Both sites overlap, and presumably post-date, the remains of probable Bronze Age round barrows (e.g. NHER 42461), and NHER 27340 may also be later than the probable Bronze Age and Iron Age to Roman field systems identified further to its west. In addition, some elements of the field system described here appear to correspond with field boundaries depicted on a 19th century Tithe Map. This all suggests a post-Roman, perhaps Saxon or medieval, date for the field system, although the incorporation of earlier elements or additions made in the post medieval period cannot be ruled out.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 4986 1630
Map Sheet:TG41NE
Parish:HEMSBY, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK
ORMESBY ST MARGARET WITH SCRATBY, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

THE RING DITCH DESCRIBED BELOW IS NOW RECORDED AS NHER 43381.

1 August 1977.
NAU air photography, see (S1).
Cropmarks.
1 ring ditch and linear cropmarks.
D. Edwards (NAU) 18 March 1981.

March 2006. Norfolk NMP.
Some of the cropmarks described below were previously recorded as NHER 12166 and 11654. The ring ditch described above is now recorded as NHER 43381. NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 4984 1600 to TG 4990 1627.

The linear cropmarks described above are part of a much larger cropmark complex representing a former field system, visible on aerial photographs (S1)-(S10). This is almost certainly a continuation of the possibly post-Roman field system recorded immediately to the west (NHER 27340). Both sites are characterised by long, near-parallel ditches, aligned approximately east-to-west. Further ditches oriented at roughly 90 degrees to the principal ditches at the site described here give it a broadly co-axial layout. The fact that both sites overlie the remains of probable Bronze Age round barrows (e.g. NHER 42461), their contrasting morphology and orientation to probable Bronze Age and Iron Age to Roman field systems identified to their west (NHER 27338 and 27339 respectively), and their proximity to evidence of Early Saxon settlement (NHER 34025), suggests a post-Roman, probably Saxon to medieval, date for the field system. The fact that the site described here contrasts (in morphology and orientation) with the probably medieval field system to its south (NHER 27266) may indicate an origin at the earlier end of this date range. At the same time, the fact that some elements of the field system, such as the ditch visible between TG 4973 1610 and TG 4971 1602, appear to correspond with field boundaries shown on Ormesby Tithe Map (S11), indicates that parts of site continued in use until at least the 19th century.

The field system is visible across an area measuring approximately 960m by 685m. Some of the double-ditched elements were probably trackways, such as that visible between TG 4969 1643 and TG 5022 1622. The layout of the cropmarks at the northern end of the site is less regular than the remainder of the site; this perhaps reflects their more fragmentary nature and the fact that in this area it was often difficult to distinguish between archaeological marks and those caused by geology or recent agricultural activity. The field boundaries appear to respect the ring ditches visible in across the site, as at TG 4982 1639 where a trackway passes between two of the three ring ditches recorded as NHER 42461. Assuming that the ring ditches represent the remains of Bronze Age round barrows, as seems likely, this suggests that the barrows still survived as earthworks when the field system was laid out. This may also be the case with the ring ditch at TG 4986 1601 (noted above and now recorded as NHER 42281), which appears to have been joined to the surrounding field boundaries. Alternatively, it could have been an enclosure of some kind contemporary with the field system. As well as the mapped ring ditches, curvilinear cropmarks at TG 4983 1592 (surrounding an undated pit), TG 4992 1631 and TG 4974 1633 may mark the site of further examples. Other apparent ring ditches which have not been mapped are probably the product of the underlying geology or recent agricultural activity. Unmapped linear cropmarks, such as those visible on (S12), generally correspond with or fit the same pattern as field boundaries depicted on historic maps, e.g. (S11).
S. Tremlett (NMP), 14 March 2006.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Early Saxon to Medieval - 410 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Post Roman - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Early Saxon to Medieval - 410 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Roman - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Saxon to Medieval - 410 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Post Roman - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Saxon to Medieval - 410 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Post Roman - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Saxon to Medieval - 410 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Post Roman - 410 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 4916A-B (NLA 55/AKW2-3) 01-AUG-1977.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 1032-4 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 4916A, TG 4917C, TG 5016B).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1965. MAL 65080 024-5 19-SEP-1965 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70315 050-1 11-SEP-1970 (NMR).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP (BYJ32) 29-JUN-1976.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 4916D-F (NLA 55/AKW5-7) 01-AUG-1977.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 4915C (NLA 78/ANK15) 09-JUN-1980.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 4916G-H (NLA 78/ANK16-7) 09-JUN-1980.
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 4916J (NLA 79/ANL1) 09-JUN-1980.
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 0963-5 07-SEP-1988 (NCC 4785-7).
<S11>Map: Ormesby St Margaret with Scratby and Ormesby St Michael Tithe Map (NRO DN/TA 470). 3 chains: 1 inch.
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1968. MAL 68007 028-9 24-FEB-1968 (NMR).

Related records

27340Related to: Possible post-Roman field system (Monument)
43443Related to: Probable field boundaries, perhaps post Roman in date, at The Sundowner Holiday Park, Newport (Monument)

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