Record Details

NHER Number:30519
Type of record:Monument
Name:Riddlesworth Park and multi-period finds

Summary

A historic parkland to Riddlesworth Hall (NHER 6119), laid out in about 1792, its lodges having been built in 1785. The park was reduced in size in 1840, by which time it had extensive woodland, and the river to the south had been widened to form a long thin boating lake. Little then changed until World War Two, but since then most of the park has reverted to agriculture. The clumps of trees have been reduced and the lake drained. Some exotic trees remain in the area around the hall, and the drive, which is lined with formal hedging, fronts an area of decayed 19th century woodland walks to the north of the hall. The kitchen gardens, some distance from the hall, are now used as a play area and to house school buildings (the hall is now a school). A pre-1840 summer house in the grounds is a rare and important survival. Metal detecting in the park since 1997 has recovered a large number of Roman, Saxon, medieval and post medieval objects.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 9667 8141
Map Sheet:TL98SE
Parish:RIDDLESWORTH, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

The park was created around 1792. A Road Closure Order in 1792 terminated a number of public roads running through the area of what was to be the park. Faden’s map, surveyed in 1794 (S4), shows the park covering c.160 hectares, crossed by a number of drives. Some of the drives enter the park from the north-west corner, possibly continuing the lines of the roads closed in 1792. Faden’s map appears to show clumps of woodland in the western area of the park, and this is confirmed by the Tithe Award map of 1840 (S3). The park incorporates St Peter’s Church (NHER 6120), sited directly east of Riddlesworth Hall (NHER 6119).
The 1840 Tithe Award map shows a smaller park of c.120 hectares with fewer drives leading to the Hall. The map also shows a large kitchen garden, north of the Hall, with associated areas of orchards, a farm in the north-west corner of the park, screened from view of the house with trees, and larger blocks of woodland on the west perimeter of the park. The Little Ouse, the south boundary of the park had been widened, forming a thin lake with a small central island.
The layouts of the drives in the park are very similar to today. A major drive ran southwards into the park, bordered on the east by a thin strip of woodland, from the Garboldisham-Thetford road. Another drive entered the park from the east, and a third entered from the south-west running up to the Hall along the south of the park. These all survive; only the drive entering from the north-west corner to the hall has disappeared through ploughing.
There were very few changes in the 19th century. The 1906 6 inch Ordnance Survey map (S5) shows some changes in the clumps of trees, an expansion of the park in the south-east corner, and the woodland close to the Hall has been thinned.
Since World War II, almost all the former areas of open parkland are under plough, only a small adjacent area north of the Hall is still grassed. To accommodate the farming, the clumps of trees have been reduced, and the lake is drained.
There is a large cedar immediately north of the Hall and a Wellingtonia, west of the kitchen garden. A belt of trees which lines the north entrance drive is shown on the 1840 Tithe Award map and consists of beech and oak with lots of underplanting, making it an interesting example of 19th century planting. Some exotic trees may derive from gardens pre-dating the park. There is a surviving pre-1840 summer house.
See (S1), (S3), (S4) and (S5).
E. Rose (NLA), 22 March 1994.
Updated by C. Hurst (UEA), 15 November 2011.

The three rectangular ponds forming a rough Z-shape at TL6738106 are shown on (S3) as within a small triangular copse. Does this suggest they predate the park layout?
E. Rose (NLA), 12 February 2007.

1997. Metal detecting finds made across whole park; no exact location.
Roman bronze nail cleaner.
?Early Saxon bronze stud.
Two lead line/net sinkers; Roman onwards.
Two lead repairs - undated pot mends.
Three bronze rings; ?Medieval.
Sixty six Roman coins, two jettons, post medieval token.
See lists in file. Identified by J.Davies (NCM), 15 May 1997.
Two Roman box tile fragments.
Two undecorated Samian ware sherds.
One mortarium sherd; East Anglian.
Roman greywares; see list.
Stabbed decorated medieval jug handle ?Green Glazed Grimston.
Late medieval/Transitional strap handle.
Medieval unglazed body sherd.
Identified by D.Gurney (NLA).
Bronze finger, suspension or brooch ring; ?Medieval.
Roman steelyard lead weight. Iron loop remains at top and wire at bottom.
?Roman steelyward lead weight. Iron top and bottom; elongated.
V. Fryer (NCM), 10 April 1997.

1997. Metal detecting.
Two fused pieces of bronze sheet, possibly part of Roman sculpture destroyed by fire.
Identified by H.Geake (NCM), January 1998.
Roman coins.
Identified by J.Davies (NCM), January 1998. See details in file.
Found by [1].
K.Sussams (NCM), 19 January 1998.

1997. Metal detecting.
Roman and medieval metalwork.
Identified by H. Geake (NCM), January 1998.
Roman and medieval coins.
Identified by J. Davies (NCM) January 1998.
See list in file.
Found by [2].
K. Sussams (NCM), 19 January 1998.

1998 to 1999. Metal detecting.
Thirty five metal and pottery objects, Roman to Post medieval including four coins (Roman and medieval).
See lists in file.
K. Hinds (NCM), 17 February 2000.

1999. Metal detecting.
Roman coin and pottery.
Medieval metal objects and pottery.
Post medieval metal objects and pottery.
Undatable metal object.
See lists in file.
All found within NHER 30519; specific find spot not labelled with object.
K. Hinds (NCM), 20 April 2000.

Monument Types

  • FARM (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KITCHEN GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORCHARD (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE BELT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE CLUMP (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FINGER RING (Undated)
  • HORSESHOE (Undated)
  • NET SINKER (Undated)
  • POT (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • WEIGHT (Undated)
  • WEIGHT (Undated)
  • BRACELET (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)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FIGURINE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FLUE TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STEELYARD WEIGHT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STEELYARD WEIGHT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TOILET ARTICLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • STUD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • ANNULAR BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRASS (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)
  • BUTTON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HARNESS (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)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PURSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SPUR (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)
  • VESSEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WEIGHT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLOTH SEAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HARNESS FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KEY (LOCKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • NUT CRACKERS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PURSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • VESSEL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. Inventory of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Norfolk..
<S2>Scheduling Record: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England..
<S3>Map: 1840. Tithe Award Map.
<S4>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S5>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1906 to 1907. Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 6 inch map.

Related records

6120Parent of: St Peter's Church, Riddlesworth (Building)
6119Part of: Riddlesworth Hall (Building)

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