Record Details

NHER Number:21762
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmarks of possible Roman villa or temple complex

Summary

The cropmarks of a possible Roman villa or similar high status domestic site are visible on aerial photographs to the southeast of Beighton village. An alternative interpretation as a temple complex has also been suggested. The site is located on a slight spur of higher land to the north of an extensive planned Roman landscape (NHER 6096). The site appears to overlie an earlier enclosure and field system, which is likely to be Bronze AgeIron Age in date and has been recorded separately (NHER 49645).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TG30NE
Parish:BEIGHTON, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

24 July 1975. Aerial photography.
Cropmarks noted on (S1).
E. Rose (NAU) 8 October 1985.

Double-ditched, square enclosure cutting/cut by a smaller square single-ditched enclosure and trackway.
D. Edwards (NAU) 6 December 1985.

Photos seen and accurately plotted E Rose (NAU) 7 December 1988.

June 2007. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks of a possible Roman villa or similar high status domestic site are visible on aerial photographs to the southeast of Beighton village (S1-S3). An alternative interpretation as a temple complex has also been suggested. The site is located on a slight spur of higher land to the north of an extensive planned Roman landscape (NHER 6096). The site appears to overlie an earlier enclosure and field system, which is likely to be Bronze AgeIron Age in date and has been recorded separately (NHER 49645). A 1st-2nd century Roman coin has been found within the general area of this site (NHER 28691).

The enclosure is roughly square in shape and measures 123m by 133m. The site is defined by two broad ditches along much of the circuit, although some areas of the enclosure ditches are obscured by geological cropmarks. Where clearly visible the ditches are 2120m apart and 2-3m wide. Some evidence of internal subdivisions was identified, although perhaps not as many as one would expect with a villa site, although again this is in part due to the interior being partially obscured with geological features. This possible lack of internal divisions could suggest an alternative interpretation for the site as potentially representing a temple complex. Further work on this site, such as additional aerial photographic reconnaissance or geophysics, will be required to gain a clearer understanding of the function of this large enclosure.

A number of boundary ditches and a possible trackway, all following the same alignment as the main enclosure, are visible to the north of the site and these are likely to be contemporary with the site.
S. Massey (NMP), 28 June 2007.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • TEMPLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VILLA? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1975. CUCAP (BUY 081-3) 24-JUL-1975 (NHER TG 3807A-C).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4015-7 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP (BZC72-3) 05-JUL-1976.

Related records - none

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