Record Details

NHER Number:24849
Type of record:Monument
Name:Upper Palaeolithic, Roman, Early Saxon and Middle Saxon activity, Brandon Road

Summary

During 1988-1990 construction of the Thetford bypass uncovered a large number of finds and features. A vast number of finds have been recovered from this site including evidence for a Late Upper Palaeolithic flintworking industry, as well as artefacts associated with Roman, Saxon and medieval activity. An evaluation took place in 1990 and revealed Roman occupation in the northern part of the site with Early Saxon settlement in the southern area and Middle Saxon occupation evidence widespread across the site. Roman features included ditches and pits, while Early Saxon remains included a sunken-featured building and associated finds. Middle Saxon artefacts were recovered from across the site. This site is extremely important as it represents a well-preserved pre-Danish Saxon settlement close to the site of Late Saxon Thetford. See also NHER 37158.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TL88SE
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Various finds recovered during the construction of the Thetford Bypass at its junction with the Brandon Road. Also archaeological evidence recovered from the field (formerly a golf course) immediately to the north-east of this junction.

1988. Stray find.
[1] reports seeing a strap end "found in front of vet's surgery on old golf course". His description sounds like a 9th century strap end.
A. Rogerson (NAU), 1988.

1988. Metal detecting.
Cast lead alloy figure in half relief of a man playing a gittern. Probably 14th century. See (S1 and S8).
A. Rogerson (NAU), 1988.

1988-1990. Stray Find/metal-detecting.
A large number of finds were discovered during the construction of the Thetford Bypass. These objects were recovered by several individuals who metal-detected and examined stripped surfaces and spoil heaps. These discoveries were briefly reported in (S2).

Prehistoric finds:
A significant number of prehistoric worked flints were found by [3] on a soil dump located on the line of the bypass, immediately to the south of the Brandon Road. This material was traced to a deep (1-2m) trial excavation by the Little Ouse River, where peat overlay iron-rich gravel (see sketch plan in file). The presence of iron encrustation on some of the flints suggests they came from the interface. The flints were identified by J. J. Wymer (NAU) as comprising:
34 Late Upper Palaeolithic blades (2 small, 14 at least 10cm long), 14 blade segments, 1 plunging blade, 5 prismatic cores, 6 crested blades (also described as core trimmings, one is 17cm long, another is 16cm long), 38 flakes/blade failures, 3 large utilised blades with 'mashed' edges, 1 flake scraper, 1 hollow scraper and 1 double burin on thick blade.
6 Neolithic flakes (unpatinated).
A number of mineralised bones were also recovered, including three long bone fragments and a rib fragment from a large mammal. These bones were also iron encrusted and were probably contemporary with the flints. The flint long blade industry is typical of Later Upper Palaeolithic technology, comparable to material recovered at Titchwell (NHER 15352)and Lynford (NHER 21499). This assemblage is discussed in (S3), in which a number of the flints are illustrated. See copy of original illustrations (S9). These flints are also noted in (S10). Assemblage now held by the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1998.372.2.3).

Roman finds:
Roman finds include large numbers of coins and pottery sherds, some brooches, a steelyard weight, ceramic tiles and a tegula. A late Roman copper alloy bowl of a type sometimes found in Early Saxon graves was also recorded.

Middle and Late Saxon finds:
Middle Saxon finds included a strap end, an incomplete pin with a facetted head, several other pin heads and Ipswich ware pottery. Late Saxon finds included hooked tags, an iron knife and Thetford ware pottery. An enamelled disc brooch (S4) dates from the Middle Saxon or Late Saxon period.
Saxon coins recovered from the site include at least two sceattas, a styca and a penny of Aethelred II.

Medieval finds:
Medieval finds included buckles, brooches, a late medieval iron key, a belt mount, a harness pendant and a large number of coins. Several medieval architectural fragments were also recorded.
Post medieval finds included jettons, a book clasp and buckles.

See descriptions, maps, reports and lists in file.
E. Rose (NAU), October 1988 and A. Cattermole (NLA), 14 July 2008. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 25 July 2013.

1990. Stray Find.
Sceat found in disturbed soil near trial trenches.
See identification in file.
A. Rogerson (NAU), 26 September 1990.

1990. Stray Find.
Flint blade and flake found on dump of soil by bypass at TL 8536 8335. Late Upper Palaeolithic.
Identified by J. J. Wymer (NAU).
A. Rogerson (NAU), 14 December 1990.

1990.
Complete Middle Saxon facetted pin.
See description in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 21 February 1992.

1990. Evaluation, contexts 1-91.
Occupation spanning the Roman period was evident in the northern part of the site, including ditches and pits.
Early Saxon activity is focused in the southern part of the site, and comprised a 6th-century sunken-featured building containing unfired clay loomweights, a copper-alloy girdle hanger and an almost complete lugged pottery bowl.
Middle Saxon activity covers most of the area apart from the northern and north-western extremities. There is no evidence of occupation later than the 9th century.
Finds include probable Neolithic worked flints, a few Iron Age pottery sherds and an Iron Age copper alloy La Tene ring-necked pin as well as Iron Age, Roman, Early Saxon, Middle Saxon and medieval pottery sherds.
See full report in file (S5). This work was also reported in (S6) and (S7).
E. Rose (NLA), 6 August 1991 and A. Cattermole (NLA), 14 July 2008.

See also NHER 37158.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Unknown date)
  • FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • LITHIC WORKING SITE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman to Middle Saxon - 43 AD to 850 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GRUBENHAUS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • PIT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • DITCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • PIT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • BRICK (Undated)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Undated)
  • POT (Undated)
  • QUERN (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • WEIGHT (Undated)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Undated)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Undated)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BURIN (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • CRESTED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • END SCRAPER (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • HOLLOW SCRAPER (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • PIN (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BOWL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STEELYARD WEIGHT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEGULA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BOWL (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GIRDLE HANGER (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • LOOMWEIGHT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • VESSEL (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • COIN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • PIN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • BROOCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DRESS COMPONENT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • KNIFE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • SPEAR (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CAULDRON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DRESS COMPONENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HARNESS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • KEY (LOCKING) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • KNIFE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SCABBARD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOKEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOKEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BOWL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRESS COMPONENT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MUSKET BALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SCYTHE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Ashley, S. 2002. Medieval Armorial Horse Furniture in Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 101.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: EWQ5-6,9-13, EXB1,3,11-12, EXK1-4, EXD14-22, FQR.
<S1>Article in Serial: Margeson, S. 1989. A Medieval Musician from near Thetford. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XL Pt III pp 325-326.
<S2>Article in Serial: 1989. Archaeological Discoveries for 1988. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 34 pp 32-61. p 45.
<S3>Article in Serial: Robins, P. and Wymer, J. 2006. Late Upper Palaeolithic (Long Blade) Industries in Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 86-95. p 89 Fig 3, p 91.
<S4>Illustration: Penn, K.. 1992. Drawing of a Middle/Late Saxon copper alloy disc brooch.. Film. 2:1.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Longman, T.. 1990. NAU Report. Thetford, Brandon Road, Archaeological Evaluation, July 1990..
<S6>Article in Serial: Nenk, B. S., Margeson, S. and Hurley, M. 1991. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1990. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XXXV pp 126-238. p177.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1991. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1990. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt II pp 240-246. pp 244-245.
<S8>Illustration: Penn, K. 1988. Drawing of a medieval cast alloy figurine.. Film. 2:1.
<S9>Illustration: Wymer, J. J. 1988. Drawings of Late Upper Palaeolithic flint blades, crested blade, end scraper, double-ended burin and blade core from Thetford. Paper. 1:1.
<S10>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 238; 6946; 6947.

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