Record Details

NHER Number:36398
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of possible Neolithic causewayed enclosure or hengiform monument

Summary

A possible Neolithic causewayed enclosure or hengiform monument of the later Neolithic to early Bronze Age has been identified on the edge of Salthouse Heath. The monument consisted of a circular arrangement of at least seven segments of curvilinear ditch and a possible inner bank. This circular enclosure is visible on aerial photographs on a former area of Salthouse Heath, now converted to arable agriculture. However the earlier aerial photograph evidence suggests that the slight earthworks of the monument may have survived on the heathland until the 1950s.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 072 415
Map Sheet:TG04SE
Parish:SALTHOUSE, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

25 June 1996. NLA air photography.
There appear to be cropmarks of a causewayed enclosure clearly visible. This is located at NGR TG 0721 4156.
A possible trackway can be seen crossing into the causewayed enclosure; it is not known whether they are contemporary.
In addition to this, located a short distance to the west are cropmarks of a linear feature, with what seems to be some sort of enclosure attached.
Further cropmarks can be seen just to the south of the causewayed enclosure, but these are fairly indistinct due to the underlying geology.
Also linear features can be seen to the northwest of the site and in the area to the south (to the west of Warren Plantation).
H. Clare (NLA), 3 September 2001.

THE TRACKWAY MENTIONED ABOVE IS NOW RECORDED UNDER NHER 27956 AND THE OTHER FEATURES WERE NOT MAPPED BY THE NMP.

THE CENTRE OF THE SITE HAS BEEN ALTERED FROM TG 0718 4160 TO TG 0722 4156.

November 2002. Norfolk NMP.
A possible Neolithic causewayed enclosure or hengiform monument of the later Neolithic to early Bronze Age identified on the edge of Salthouse Heath. This circular enclosure is visible on aerial photographs of a former area of Salthouse Heath, now converted to arable agriculture (S1 and 2). However the earlier aerial photograph evidence suggests that the slight earthworks of the monument may have survived on the heathland until the 1950"s (S3). This enclosure is centred on TG 0722 4156 and is 59.5m in diameter and consists of up to seven curvilinear ditch segments with evidence of a possible inner bank.
By national standards this is quite small for a monument within the causewayed enclosure class (S4). Although other possible Norfolk examples at Roughton (NHER 13358) and Buxton with Lammas (NHER 7690), whilst larger than the Salthouse example (Roughton is up to 105m across) are still significantly smaller than the national average. The Norfolk examples are also roughly circular, again this is in contrast with the national trend (S4). This smaller size and and circularity has led some to suggest that these monuments may be more akin to later Neolithic and early Bronze Age hengiform monuments rather than the earlier causewayed enclosure group (S5). It is possible that these Norfolk examples represent a later development in the monument, although it is equally likely that these monuments are a reasonably contemporary local tradition.
The relationship between the possible Norfolk causewayed sites and other Neolithic monuments may indicate that they have been constructed in relation to one another. 325m to the southwest of the Salthouse enclosure is a possible Neolithic oblong or long barrow or mortuary enclosure (NHER 27173). At Roughton two long barrows or mortuary enclosures and an oval barrow are located to the immediate north of the monument (see NHER 13358 for details).
To the north of the Salthouse Heath enclosure is an extremely large Bronze Age dispersed barrow cemetery (NHER 38629), which includes two large embanked barrows (NHER 6201 and 6202) which are likely to date to the early Bronze Age, or possibly are even Neolithic in date. These appear to provide a focus for the later barrows. It seems likely that the presence of the Salthouse enclosure, whether it is to be classed as a causewayed enclosure or hengiform monument, must have added to the importance of the locale.

The enclosure is made up of at least seven curvilinear ditches, ranging from 6m to 18m in length and 1 to 2.5m wide. Two large pits are visible along the line of the northeast quadrant of the enclosure at TG 0722 4259 and TG 0724 4158. It is not clear how these relate to the causewayed ditches, although it seems likely that they are later. The surface of the heath has seen much disturbance and many pits, both extraction and military are visible. A third pit at TG 0724 4154, 2.5m across, would appear to form part of the original enclosure circuit. Centred on TG 0721 4153 is the cropmark of an L-shaped section of ditch, which appears to cut into the line of the ditches and causeways. Again it is possible that this is a later addition to the site.
On the Ordnance Survey vertical aerial photographs from 1969 the site is clearly visible as soilmarks (S6). On this image a possible inner bank is visible as a ploughed out soilmark, up to 5m wide. The most convincing sections of this possible bank are located in the southeast quadrant of the site. These low banks to the south and east are just visible as earthworks in the 1950 (S3). A further spread of light bank-like material was visible within the southwest quadrant of the interior. However this was not mapped as it was hard to distinguish it from geology. The whole surface of the heath has visible patches of this lighter material and therefore it was not interpreted as the remains of an inner mound. In particular the soilmark of the known ploughed out barrow to the immediate northeast (NHER 6200) produced a much more coherent soilmark than that visible within the causewayed enclosure.
(S1 to 6)
S. Massey (NMP), 15 November 2002.

Monument Types

  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • CAUSEWAYED ENCLOSURE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • HENGIFORM MONUMENT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 0741ACJ - ACR.
---Article in serial: Massey, S., Brennand, M. and Clare, H. 2003. The National Mapping Programme in Norfolk, 2001-3. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 335-344. p 337.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 0741ACJ-ACL (NLA 363/HKR14-6, HKS1) 25-JUN-1996.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 0741ACZ-ADB (NLA 365/JFQ8-10) 29-JUN-1996.
<S2>Monograph: Oswald, A., Dyer, C. & Barber, M.. 2001. The Creation of Monuments: Neolithic Causewayed Enclosures in the British Isles..
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1950. RAF 541/440 4033-4 28-FEB-1950 (NMR).
<S5>Article in serial: Ashwin, T. 1996. Neolithic and Bronze Age Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol 62 pp 41-62.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1969. OS/69037 058-9 03-APR-1969.

Related records - none

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