Record Details

NHER Number:39603
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible late Saxon inhumation and medieval deposits at Waxham Great Barn


Excavations and a watching brief in 2003-2004 revealed a possible Late Saxon burial and medieval pits, ditches and gullies. Details of the construction of the Great Barn and associated features were also recorded.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 43928 26182
Map Sheet:TG42NW

Full description

August-September 2003. Excavation and Watching Brief.
Archaeological work undertaken prior to and during refurbishment of the Great Barn and associated wings. From context 1.
A burial found in a grave aligned north-east to south-west may have been Late Saxon in date, although radiocarbon dates from the bone are not secure. If this dating is correct, it will be the first in situ evidence of late Saxon activity in the hamlet of Waxham. The nature of this activity is far from clear, and it is uncertain whether this burial is isolated or one of a number of burials, as the discovery of a human skull beneath the Great Barn may suggest. If there are other burials of this date nearby, this could suggest that St John's Church, approximately 120m to the north east, was not the first church at Waxham.
A medieval cesspit was located to the south of the grave. Two stake-holes found on the northern edge of this feature suggest it was originally timber-lined. Pottery found in one of the stake-holes and in the backfill of the pit date it to the 11th to 14th centuries. Two undated pits were located nearby and may have been contemporary. A series of undated ditches and gullies are also thought to date to the medieval period given the concentration of medieval features nearby.
Details of the construction of the Great Barn, its surviving wings and the post-medieval posts and stakes were also recorded along with post medieval cobbled surfaces, buried layers and pits.
The majority of the pottery assemblage from this site comprises a range of medieval coarsewares that are likely to have been produced locally. In addition, a smaller amount of coarser sandy wheel-thrown wares were identified. The ceramics are utilitarian and domestic in their nature.
See publication report (S1) for further details. See also assessment report (S2) and photographs (S3) and (S4). The results of this work are summarised in (S5).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2011.108).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 14 August 2006. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • GULLY (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Late Saxon - 960 AD to 1050 AD) + Sci.Date
  • CESS PIT (Late Saxon to 14th Century - 1000 AD to 1399 AD)
  • PIT (Late Saxon to 14th Century - 1000 AD? to 1399 AD?)
  • STAKE HOLE (Late Saxon to 14th Century - 1000 AD to 1399 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR (15th Century to 19th Century - 1500 AD to 1899 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • YARD (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • CORE (Unknown date)
  • FLAKE (Unknown date)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Unknown date)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Late Saxon - 960 AD to 1050 AD) + Sci.Date
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Robertson, D. 2004. An Archaeological Excavation and Watching Brief at Waxham Barn. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 888.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Robertson, D. 2005. A Possible Late Saxon Burial and a Medieval Manor: Excavations at Waxham Great Barn, 2003-4. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1075.
<S3>Photograph: NAU. 2005. KYT-KYW.
<S4>Slide: Various. Slide. 1-125.
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2004. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2003. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt III pp 573-588. p 585.

Related records

8365Part of: Waxham Hall and Great Barn (Monument)

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