Record Details

NHER Number:39459
Type of record:Monument
Name:Multi-period activity

Summary

A curvilinear ditch or watercourse of medieval date was identified during a SHARP excavation. This feature and another narrower ditch are also visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The ditch was identified during a geophysical survey by SHARP in 2002 and excavated in 2003. It was recut at least 14 times in this area, the earliest cut may date to the Late Saxon period. The ditch is filled with alluvial sands and gravels suggesting that at one time it was a channel for free-flowing water, essentially a canal. Saxon drainage gullies, a pit, a posthole and a possible chalk post pad probably relate to Saxon settlement activity. A phase of prehistoric activity was also recorded.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TF73NW
Parish:SEDGEFORD, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

2002. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Resistivity Survey. [1]
A wide band of low resistance with a band of higher resisitance to the south. With a small patch of lower resistance within this high resistance. It is speculated that this low resisitance may be related to the cutting of the Reeddam.
See (S1) and (S2).
M. Dennis (NLA) 11 August 2006.

2003. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Excavation.
Trench 1.
Part of the site was pastureland during the medieval period. Small Saxon drainage gullies, a small shallow pit, a posthole and a possible chalk post pad probably relate to Saxon settlement activity. A phase of prehistoric activity was recorded. A possible recut boundary ditch ran east to west. Another ditch ran northwest to southeast. A pit and several postholes are undated.
Trench 2.
A large east to west ditch dating to the medieval period appears to be the same ditch as investigated in three different excavations trenches where it runs the length of the reeddam to the east of [1]. It was recut at least 14 times in this area, the earliest cut may date to the Late Saxon period. The ditch is filled with alluvial sands and gravels suggesting that at one time it was a channel for free flowing water, essentially a canal. The ditch may have been designed to bypass the manorial complexs so waterbourne traffic associated with the Reeddam could transport crops easily up and down the river. This use as a canal eventually changed. The later ditches silted up under stagnant water more characteristic of a boundary ditch.
A large Iron Age possible boundary ditch ran north to south. It contained an East Anglian face horse silver coin. The ditch cut an earlier east to west ditch. Twenty three postholes and three stake holes were recorded.
See (S3).
M. Dennis (NLA), 11 August 2006.

March 2006. Norfolk NMP.
Cropmarks of curvilinear ditches of unknown and medieval date are visible on aerial photographs (S4). These cropmarks are centred on [2]. A 2m wide curvilinear ditch cropmark is intermittently visible for 86m. It lies on a roughly west to east alignment between [3]. A narrow linear ditch cropmark is also present running parallel along its northern side. The main ditch appears to be the same feature that was revealed in a SHARP excavation trench in 2002 (S3). The excavated ditch was dated to the medieval period and interpreted as, ‘a channel for free flowing water, essentially a canal’ (S3). It is not clear whether or not the narrower ditch to the north was also identified in the excavation. Although the main feature identified in the excavation was interpreted as a ditch or canal, its slightly curvilinear form may indicate that it was originally a natural watercourse. It does not correspond to any ditch or boundary shown on the 1631 estate plan of Sedgeford (S5). The southern side of a trapezoidal enclosure, which is located further to the west, appears to lie on the same alignment as the main ditch cropmark.
J. Albone (NMP), 21 March 2006.

Monument Types

  • POST HOLE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • STAKE HOLE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • DITCH (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • GULLY (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PIT (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CANAL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WATERCOURSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COIN (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Archive: Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project Archive.
---Archive: Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project Folder.
<S1>Monograph: Cabot, S. (ed.). 2003. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project Interim Report 2002..
<S2>Article in serial: Cabot, S. 2003. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project: Interim Report 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 354-356.
<S3>Unpublished document: Reid, P.. 2004. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project Annual Report 2003..
<S3>Article in serial: Reid, P. (ed.). 2004. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project Annual Report 2003.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TF 7036A-B (NLA 58/ALS3-4) 05-AUG-1977.
<S5>Map: 1631. Estate map of Sedgeford.

Related records - none

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