Record Details

NHER Number:29484
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible medieval moated enclosure and toft boundaries


The earthworks of a near-rectangular raised enclosure are visible on this site, with a possible entrance situated at the northeast. Possible toft boundaries are also visible within very irregular undulations in a field to the east. These features are thought to date to the medieval period.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 131 189
Map Sheet:TG11NW

Full description

Earthwork seen on vertical air photograph taken during BKS/Norfolk County Council survey of Norfolk, 1988.
Square enclosure beside stream around 75 x 75m - probable moat.
Recorded as part of NLA earthwork survey, 1993. See plan (S6).
Compiled by M. Flitcroft (NLA), 4 February 1993.

Near-rectangular raised enclosure approximately 30m square, 1.5m above flood plain and abutting it on south. West, north and east bounding depressions incised by later drains, with a possible entrance at northeast. Possible toft boundaries within very irregular undulations in field to east.
Compiled by B. Cushion (NLA), 29 January 1993.

February 2003.
Earthworks difficult to view, as whole field extremely wet after prolonged rain. Good pasture grazed by cattle in the summer months. A few patches of bramble.
H. Paterson (A&E), 14 February 2003.

Management Statement signed 22 February 2003.
Copy in office file (S1).
H. Paterson (A&E), 26 February 2003.

April 2010. Norfolk NMP.
The earthworks of a possible moat and probable medieval tofts and boundaries are visible on aerial photographs to the south of Swannington Manor (S2-S5). The ground survey recorded above would appear to suggest the square enclosure or moat pre-dates the later drainage works, however no convincing evidence of this could be identified on the aerial photographs. The northern part of the possible enclosure is obscured by tree cover on aerial photographs dated from the 1940s -70s (S2-S4). The square ‘enclosure’ is only apparent in the 1980s-90s (S5) after some drain maintenance and cleaning has taken place and the feature is depicted as a square arrangement of drains on the Ordnance Survey 1;2,500 scale mapping. While it is feasible that these drains are cut along the line of earlier earthworks is possible, this cannot be corroborated by the available aerial photograph evidence.
Traces of the possible platforms and toft earthworks that are to the east of the enclosure can tentatively identified on the aerial photographs (S3-S4) and these may be comparable to the earthwork recorded to the east (NHER 29478). The clearest component is a rectangular raised platform at TG 1326 1908 (S2-S3). Additional possible platforms may be present, but could not be distinguished with certainty from the higher ground intersected by the natural and manmade drainage channels. Some traces of possible boundary ditches, seemingly earlier than the more modern drainage pattern have tentatively identified and it is possible that these relate to the previously recorded toft boundaries. Medieval pottery had been recovered from the area of these earthworks (NHER 29485) and could indicate that the rectangular platform represents a medieval building platform.
S. Horlock (NMP), 30 April 2010.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • BUILDING PLATFORM? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • PLATFORM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • TOFT (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS/NCC 3497.
<S1>Unpublished Document: H. Paterson (A&E), MPP. Management Statement.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4148-9 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1971. OS/70147 276-7 11-APR-1971 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1971. MAL/71020 076-7 11-APR-1971 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1992. OS/92337 257-8 11-JUN-1992 (NMR).
<S6>Illustration: Cushion, B. 1993. Plan of earthworks at Swannington SMR 29484. Film. 1:1250.

Related records - none

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