Record Details

NHER Number:32307
Type of record:Monument
Name:Tacolneston Park


Tacolneston Park is an 18th century artificial landscape created around Tacolneston Hall, to which the avenue from the south is still remaining. Surveys of the landscape have noted a number of medieval features, including ridge and furrow, tofts, field boundaries and some features contemporary with the Hall. Details of these can be seen under NHER 9951.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 1388 9556
Map Sheet:TM19NW

Full description

Faden’s map, surveyed in 1794 (S3), shows Tacolneston Hall (NHER 9951) but not the park boundaries. The Hall has a drive from the south and two rectangular woods, one north and one east.
The 1836 Ordnance Survey First Edition 1 inch map (S4) shows two rectilinear enclosures to the north and south-west of the Hall but with no vegetation symbols. These correspond roughly to woodland belts shown on the later Tithe Award map, suggesting that landscaping was being carried out. There is a south-east drift-way leading to the Hall.
The 1845 Tithe Award map (S5) shows buildings south-east of the Hall, in the place where the moat now is, thus proving a post-1845 origin of the moat. The avenue up to the hall from the south, on this map, still remains.
The 1906 Ordnance Survey 6 inch map (S6) shows the Hall with a new western drive. The moat is now in place, in a ‘U’ shape south of the Hall. The woodland belts have been extended to give a more curved shape to the internal line of the tree belts. North of the northern tree belt are a series of fields, possibly used for agricultural purposes. The northern boundary of these fields is the parish boundary. The tree belts all contain walks. Within the open park, some of the old field boundaries are very apparent as lines of standing trees. There are tree clumps, east and west of the Hall. Immediately north and north-east of the Hall are the kitchen garden and formal garden.
An earthwork survey was carried out and suggests there was a medieval settlement and agricultural earthworks within the park.
Not registered by English Heritage or Norfolk County Council as an historic park.
E. Rose (NAU) 3 February 1997, 29 March 1999.
Updated by C. Hurst (UEA), 15 November 2011.

February 1997. Earthwork Survey.
Survey at 1:1000, noting ridge and furrow, tofts, field boundaries and landscape features within park.
Prehistoric, medieval, post medieval sherds.
Post medieval roofing tile found.
See report (S1) for plan and further details. This site was included in (S13) and the survey is also noted in (S14).
B. Cushion (NLA), February 1997. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 April 2015.

Preparation for enlarging pond to south of stream enabled a trench to be excavated by machine from stream almost to pond. See plan. Some stripping of topsoil to east, with pottery sherds in spoil.
One base and three body sherds medieval unglazed.
Two Late medieval transistional.
Identified by A. Rogerson (NLA).
Section confirms earlier watercourse route with additional ditch to south and a possible ditch, not all visible, to north, near to broader excavation, details on plan.
Further pottery in arable land to east:
One Samian foot ring.
Four body sherds medieval unglazed, one rim medieval unglazed.
Pot boilers seen but not collected.
B. Cushion (NLA), 19 January 1998.

March 2012. Norfolk NMP.
The earthworks of medieval tofts, ridge and furrow and field boundaries and post medieval landscape features, mentioned above and recorded as part of the previous earthwork survey (S1) are visible on aerial photographs within park (S7-S12). Due to the fact the earthwork survey has provided a detailed plan of the site (S1) it was decided that no additional mapping from the aerial photographs would be added within the extent of the survey. A few minor additional earthworks were visible on a number of the aerial photographs, but these were fairly inconsequential features and would not alter the overall plan or interpretation of the site. Additional earthworks were recorded to the east, west and south of the surveyed area; areas that are now converted to arable and therefore the features are likely to have been were either plough-levelled or greatly reduced at the time of survey. These additional earthworks are consistent with those already recorded and interpreted during the survey, with further areas of enclosures and fields, in particular at TM 1399 9545 within the central area of the park, although these are either overlain or overlie an additional possible area of ridge and furrow (S9, S11), suggesting a degree of phasing within the possible medieval features. See below for comment on another possible, but less convincing area of ridge and furrow to the west. It is likely that some of the field boundaries mapped will be of post medieval date and recorded on historic maps, however no pre- Ordnance Survey First Edition map (1889 to 1891) mapping was readily available at the time of the NMP survey.
Due to the nature of the vegetation cover and conditions in the main central area of the Park on (S9) it was hard in places to confidently distinguish between earthworks and tracks created by relatively recent activity. Therefore only the most obvious ditches were mapped, consequently it is possible that additional features have been missed, and conversely that a few non-archaeological linear features may have inadvertently been included within the mapping.
The earthworks to the west of the survey area are hard to confidently map and interpret, as the area has potentially be overlain with a drainage system, most clearly visible on (S8). However due to similarity in orientation with some of the possible drains and aspects of the medieval earthworks it was hard to clearly separate to the two phases. It is also worth noting that the closely set parallel drains are the same distance apart as the ridge and furrow recorded to the east on the aerial photographs and earthwork survey. These features were therefore included on as possible ridge and furrow, despite the high probability that they are drainage features.
The low light and shadow on RAF 1947 aerial photographs (S7) suggests the presence of additional earthworks within the southern part of the Park, however due to the long shadows cast by the southern tree belt it is hard to confidently identify many additional boundaries, other than those that are within the surveyed area to the west (S1). Additional possible earthworks may also have been visible on (S9) within the eastern part of the southern area of the Park, but only the most obvious features were included within the mapping. The earthworks in this area were much less clear than those included within the earthwork survey (S1). An additional boundary within the southeastern corner of the Park on (S12) was decided to be the result of relatively recent agricultural activity and was not mapped.
In addition to these medieval earthworks mapped within the main area of the Park, a possible embanked trackway or hollow way was recorded within the northern, arable part of the Park at TM 1393 9587 (S11). It is not immediately clear whether this feature is part of the post medieval park layout or relates to a pre-park feature. Further reference to pre-Ordnance Survey First Edition map (1889 to 1891) historic maps would probable provide sufficient information to answer this issue.
S. Horlock (NMP), 05 March 2012.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • PARK PALE (Unknown date)
  • ROAD (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RIDGE AND FURROW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOFT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN FEATURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KITCHEN GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL LAKE (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT BOILER (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1997. Tacolneston Hall Park SMR 32307. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. [unknown]. Inventory of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Norfolk..
<S3>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S4>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1824-1836. Ordnance Survey First Edition 1 inch..
<S5>Map: NRO. 1845. Tacolneston Tithe Map.
<S6>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1906 to 1907. Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 6 inch map.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1918 3141-3 09-JAN-1947 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1962. RAF 58/5046 0012-3 09-APR-1962 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1964. RAF 58/6209 (F22) 0003-4 11-MAR-1964 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72035 025-6 22-MAR-1972 (NMR).
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72034 176-8 22-MAR-1972 (NMR).
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1973. OS/73359 239-40 03-JUL-1973.
<S13>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 227.
<S14>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1998. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt I pp 193-210. p 206.

Related records

9951Part of: Tacolneston Hall (Building)

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