Record Details

NHER Number:18125
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of probable medieval to post medieval enclosure, perhaps the site of Beeston St Andrew church

Summary

An enclosure of probable medieval to post medieval date, together with what appear to be related field boundaries and other features, is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The enclosure may be the site of Beeston St Andrew church (see NHER 8142), which was said to be marked by a thorn bush in around 1900. A ‘White Thorn’ and a rectangular boundary (shown dashed) is depicted here on Beeston St Andrew Tithe map (1842), suggesting that the church was located here, rather than closer to the road as previously thought (NHER 8142). Medieval finds have been recovered from the site, including roof tiles, indicating that there was almost certainly a building here. Human skeletal remains have also been recovered from the field (NHER 19017, 23422 and 8142), although there is some doubt as to their precise location. At the same time, although the evidence points to this being the site of the church, the possibility that it instead represents part of the associated village of Beeston St Andrew cannot be entirely discounted.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2505 1470
Map Sheet:TG21SE
Parish:BEESTON ST ANDREW, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
SPIXWORTH, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

15 September 1981. Aerial photography.
Positive cropmarks.
Ditches of rectangular enclosure with rounded corners and entrance to west. Inner ditch visible to east and south.
D. Edwards (NAU), 5 May 1982.

1983.
See NHER 8142.
Farmer (remembering 30 years back) stated the foundations and skeletons entered under that site were really found here.
See also NHER 19017.
This has led A. Gregory (NAU) and A. Rogerson (NAU) to suggest that this is the church site, with NHER 8142 possibly an earlier or later removal. D. Edwards (NAU) doubts this, as the cropmark is not at all like a churchyard and shows no trace of a building within.
E. Rose (NAU), 11 May 1983.

8 April 1983.
Site visited by A. Rogerson (NAU).
Growing cereal crop and poor light conditions - very brief.
A. Rogerson (NAU) inclined to believe farmer does remember site accurately.
He himself found sample of visible spread:
2 fragments non-glazed peg tiles.
2 fragments medieval-16th century brick.
2 fragments sandy limestone.
1 lava quern fragment.
3 bodysherds medieval unglazed.
4 fragments Flemish floor tiles including 2 with green glaze, 1 uncertain, 1 with glaze and traces of white slip. Some nail holes visible. Two measure 113mm across.
This certainly suggests some sort of medieval building stood on this site - what then is the relationship with NHER 8142?
Identified by A. Rogerson (NAU).
E. Rose (NAU), 24 June 1983.

January 2008. Norfolk NMP.
The enclosure described above, together with what appear to be related field boundaries and other features, is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1)-(S3), with the enclosure centred at TG 2513 1471. The site incorporates cropmarks previously recorded as part of NHER 8142.
The enclosure probably marks the site of Beeston St Andrew church, as suggested above. Bryant (S4) notes that by around 1900 the site of the old church was marked by a thorn bush (see Batcock’s notes for (S5) in secondary file for NHER 8142). When overlain on Beeston St Andrew Tithe Map (S6), the NMP mapping of the enclosure overlaps with a dashed, rectilinear boundary of approximately the same size, within which a ‘White Thorn’ is marked. This, together with the finds evidence described above, and the discovery of human skeletal remains in the vicinity (NHER 8142, 23422 and 19017), indicates that the enclosure almost certainly relates to the church, and is therefore of medieval to post medieval date. At the same time, the possibility that it instead represents part of the associated village of Beeston St Andrew cannot be entirely discounted. Given that the church was already in ruins by the 16th century (S5), the boundary and thorn bush marked on the Tithe Map could have mistakenly become associated with the church site in popular memory. There is no evidence that the enclosure dates to the Roman period, as has previously been suggested (S7).
Cropmarks visible within the enclosure, including two large pit-like features and a possible ring ditch, were presumably also associated with the church. Further interior features may be visible but were not clear enough to warrant mapping, the overall appearance suggesting disturbed ground. The cropmarks surrounding the enclosure appear to represent part of a contemporary landscape of fields and enclosures, albeit one of probably more than one phase of land division, as some of the ditches cross over each other and part of one equates to a Tithe Map boundary (visible between TG 2482 1463 and TG 2496 1470). A second possible ring ditch is visible towards the east of the site, at TG 2523 1475; there is no evidence that it dates to any earlier (or later) than the other cropmarks, but its function is not known.
The enclosure is trapezoidal in plan and appears to be double-ditched on at least its eastern side. It measures 65m by 61.5m externally, and 60m by 52.5m internally. There is no obvious entrance. The possible internal ring ditch is roughly circular in plan and measures 4.5m in diameter. The external ring ditch is more oval in plan and measures 11m long and 10m wide. Neither of the two ring ditches is entirely convincing as an archaeological feature, and their origin and significance remain uncertain.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 25 January 2008.

(S8) refers to the induction of the new rector of Beeston St Andrew in 1910. This apparently took place on a tiny piece of church owned glebe land. The article refers to' walking six yards into the field, passing the flint ruins of the former church'.
A. Yardy (HES), 10 February 2011.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DOUBLE DITCHED ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH? (Unknown date)
  • TRAPEZOIDAL ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DOUBLE DITCHED ENCLOSURE? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RING DITCH? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TRAPEZOIDAL ENCLOSURE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Undated)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Undated)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG 2514C-E,F-N.
---Article in Serial: Davison, A. and Rogerson, A. 2007. Investigations at Godwick and Beeston St. Andrew. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt II pp 141-154.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1981. NHER TG 2514C-E (NLA 121/ARQ6-8) 15-SEP-1981.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1982. NHER TG 2514L-N (AAF 229/1-3) 12-SEP-1982.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 2514P-U (NLA 373/JBF1-6) 19-JUL-1996.
<S4>Serial: Bryant, T.H.. 1905. Norfolk Churches.. Vol 16. 11.
<S5>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology, 51. Microfiche 5:G12. p 53.
<S6>Map: Pratt & Son. 1842. Beeston St Andrew Tithe Map. No scale.
<S7>Article in Serial: Edwards, D. (NAU). 1983. Archaeological Discoveries for 1981 and 1982. CBA Group VI Bulletin. Series 2 No 28 pp 31-53. p 39.
<S8>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. 100 Years Ago. 1 November 2010.

Related records

19017Related to: Line of human skulls (Monument)
8142Related to: Possible site of St Andrew's church, Beeston St Andrew (Monument)

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