Record Details

NHER Number:29582
Type of record:Monument
Name:Wilby Shrunken Village, Quidenham

Summary

The numerous features here were first identified by aerial photography in 1946. These turned out to be the remains of a substantial complex of village earthworks including hollow ways, tofts, a trapezoidal moat and other enclosures. Further work in 2001 and 2005 identified evidence of Saxon activity here before the main occupation phase in the medieval period, with the decline of Wilby beginning sometime after the 14th century. The majority of finds comprised pottery sherds, but animal bones, tobacco pipe fragments and prehistoric flint artefacts were also retrieved. It is clear that this location was a focus for human activity during several archaeological periods.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 0325 9002
Map Sheet:TM09SW
Parish:QUIDENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Noted on 1946 RAF air photograph and visited during NLA/RCHME earthwork survey.
A substantial complex of village earthworks including hollow ways, tofts, a trapezoidal moat and other enclosures, mostly in grassland. Now the grassland comprises about 30% of that in 1946 with few of the more distinctive features remaining. The hollow ways and trapezoidal moat are still evidence in the arable.
Late Saxon and medieval sherds.
Medieval tiles.
See separate, more detailed entries for specific fields in file.
B. Cushion (NLA) March 1993.

Source suggests that the reference to the site of a manor partly in decay and surrounded by a moat in 1566-1619 refers really to these earthworks and not the present Wilby Hall.
E. Rose (NLA) 26 September 1995.

Site partly pasture, partly arable as in 1993. Arable ploughed to 20cm (8in) and 10cm (4in) in ownerships [1] and [2]. Pasture grazed by pedigree cattle in ownership [3].
Ownership plan in file.
H. Paterson (NLA) 18 November 1996.

August 2001. NAU evaluation. Contexts 50 to 73 used.
Revealed evidence of Late Saxon/early medieval structure and evidence of post medieval activity.
See (S1) in file.
See also (S4).
D. Gurney (NLA) 5 October 2001.

October 2005. NAU excavation and watching brief. Contexts 100-148 used.
Revealed a series of parallel linear features which appeared to be Late Saxon, and differently aligned ditches of possibly medieval and post medieval date. Also a single undated post hole.
The limited range of features present and the small artefactual assemblage recovered suggests that this area lay on the periphery of the village throughout the historic periods.
See (S2), also on CD on digital storage shelf.
See also (S3).
J. Allen (NLA) 16 February 2006.

July 2012. Norfolk NMP.
Earthworks of the shrunken village of Wilby are clearly visible on several aerial photographs (S5-S12). They have been mapped as they vary in places from the descriptions in the file, probably because the earthworks were largely visible on grassland on the earliest photographs, and had not been eroded by arable farming to such an extent.
To the south of Wilby Farm House, in the field centred on TM 0333 8954, three possible parallel banks are visible, running roughly north-south. These had been recorded as a possible enclosure (field A6 on map in file), but it seems more likely that they represent medieval to post medieval land division related to the farm.
To the west (field G1 in file), another north-south linear bank and a broader east-west platform with a ditch to the north are visible, centred on TM 0321 8961.
A possible rectangular enclosure is visible in the next field to the west (A1), centred on TM 0311 8961. It measures 73m by 27m internally, and may represent a croft and/or possible toft.
A possible trackway or hollow way is visible to the north, stretching into the field to the east (field G2) from TM 0305 8965 to TM 0321 8968.
Further to the east (field G3) to the north of Wilby Farm House, a possible platform is visible in the western half of the field, centred on TM 0327 8975. To the east, possible ditched enclosures are visible, centred on TM 0331 8975. A possible former pond is also visible centred on TM 0333 8977.
In the field to the east (G4) an L-shaped ditch and depression are visible, centred on TM 0339 8980, as well as a possible bank or platform to the east, centred on TM 0341 8981. The other ditch features in this field are thought to be post medieval drainage ditches, as they run into existing watercourses.
To the north, in the fields surrounding Meadow Farm (A2, A4, A5 and G5), centred on TM 0326 9005, there are a number of possible enclosures which are likely to relate to tofts.
To the north east (in fields A3 and G6) a large trapezoidal ditched enclosure is visible, centred on TM 0338 9037. It measures 89m by a maximum of 92m internally, and appears to contain a pond and possible platform (caused by probable spoil deposition) in its north-west corner, although these features may relate to modern drainage, and it is difficult to be certain whether they are archaeological, as with many of the earthworks in this area, some of which appear more likely to be modern drainage features.
In the north of the area, some of the features are visible as cropmarks on more recent aerial photographs (S11). In the field centred on TM 0320 9036, some of the ditch features are visible as ‘lodging’ in the crop, and whilst it is clear that some of these ditches represent field boundaries on the Tithe map (S13), and have therefore not been mapped, there are also some additional features that may be archaeological. Three possible pit features are also visible as cropmarks and have been mapped, centred on TM 0323 9039 and TM 0304 9035 although it is also probable that these features represent geological marks, as there is a large amount of background geology visible as cropmarks in this area.
E. Bales (NMP), 10 July 2012.

Monument Types

  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • BEAM SLOT (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUILDING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BUILDING (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GULLY (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PIT (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHRUNKEN VILLAGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOFT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • BLADE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BURNT FLINT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TM08/0389/A, B.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Percival, J.. 2001. NAU Report No. 629. An Archaeological Evaluation at Medow Farm, Wilby..
<S2>Unpublished Document: Watkins, P.J.. 2006. NAU Report No. 1110. An Archaeological Excavation at Meadow Farm, Wilby, Norfolk..
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 132.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2002. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2001. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt I pp 162-177. p 173.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK 59 5078-9 05-FEB-1946 (NHER TM 0289B and TM 0389A).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4377-8 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 4109-10 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 3059-60 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 3059-60 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 4037-8 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70282 091-2 31-JUL-1970 (NMR).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. NLA. 1976. NHER TM 0390A-B (NLA 27/AEZ1-2) 29-JUN-1976.
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Infoterra and Bluesky Ltd. 2006. Infoterra Ltd and Bluesky 02-JUL-2006 (Google Earth TM 0301 8963).
<S13>Map: 1841. Quidenham Tithe Award Map.

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