Record Details

NHER Number:29628
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of probable Bronze Age round barrow cemetery south of Somerton Road

Summary

A group of six ring ditches, visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs, probably represent the levelled remains of a dispersed Bronze Age round barrow cemetery. They are located on a spur of land, just to the west of the summit, which is a typical location for funerary monuments of this type. Further ring ditches 460m to the east (NHER 21772 and 27462) may represent an outlying part of the cemetery. No prehistoric material has been recovered from the site to date, but evidence for a probable Bronze Age settlement and field system has been identified 1.6km to the southwest (NHER 27331).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 4611 1883
Map Sheet:TG41NE
Parish:MARTHAM, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

29 July 1986. NAU air photography, see (S1).
Two adjacent ring ditches.
E. Rose (NLA) 5 April 1993.

March 2006. Norfolk NMP.
Some of the ring ditches described below were previously recorded as part of NHER 21270. NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 4625 1900 to TG 4617 1884.

The ring ditches described above, together with four further ring ditches, are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1)-(S6). It is probable, given their character and location, that they represent the levelled remains of a dispersed Bronze Age round barrow cemetery. The site is partially overlapped by cropmarks of a multi-period field system (NHER 21270), elements of which appear to have been laid out around some of the ring ditches (e.g. at TG 4615 1883). This suggests that at least some of the barrows, which presumably pre-date the field system, still survived as earthworks when it was laid out.

All of the ring ditches are roughly circular in plan and measure between 20m and 25m in diameter. The ring ditch at TG 4616 1881 appears to have had an inner ring, perhaps of pits containing burials or of post settings. The inner cropmark should be treated with caution, however, as it could be a product of the underlying geology. The ring ditch at TG 4605 1889 is slightly more oval in plan than the others. It may have had an internal pit but the mark is impossible to distinguish from the background geology with any certainty and consequently has not been mapped by the NMP. It is notable that the outline of the ring ditch is rather irregular; this may indicate that the ditch was excavated in segments, was recut, or that it originally held posts. The ring ditch at TG 4595 1879 is only faintly visible and should therefore be treated with a degree of caution. A further possible ring ditch visible immediately to its southeast is probably geological in origin and has not been mapped.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 15 March 2006.

Monument Types

  • PIT? (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • BARROW CEMETERY (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • BURIAL? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • PIT? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POST HOLE? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1986. NHER TG 4618B-F (NLA 184/DCV1-5) 29-JUL-1986.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP (BYJ37) 29-JUN-1976 SNF9008 Photograph BYJ1-14.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1983. NHER TG 4518A-C (NLA 137/ATQ13-5) 29-JUL-1983.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 0973-4 07-SEP-1988 (NCC 4795-6).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: English Heritage. 2002. NMR TG 4618/7-10 (NMR 21738/22-5) 30-SEP-2002.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: English Heritage. 2002. NMR TG 4618/15-8 (NMR 21817/6-9) 30-SEP-2002 SNF56543 Oblique Aerial Photograph English Heritage, 1993, NMR TG 5208/15-20 (NMR 4824/31-6) 07-JUN-1993.

Related records - none

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