Record Details

NHER Number:38463
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmarks of Iron Age to Roman settlement and field system

Summary

A probable settlement with associated field system of Iron Age to Roman date is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. It consists of a series of ditched enclosures, trackways, linear ditches and banks, ring ditches and a line of pits or post holes. Finds recovered from the area (NHER 30853 and 12816) include some Iron Age material and a greater quantity of Roman material, as well as finds dating to the medieval and post to medieval periods.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2036 3560
Map Sheet:TG23NW
Parish:HANWORTH, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

February 2004, Norfolk NMP.
Some of the cropmarks described below were previously recorded as NHER 30853 and 12816.

A probable settlement site with associated field system of Iron Age to Roman date is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1) to (S7), centred around TG 2033 3565. It consists of a series of sub-rectangular ditched enclosures, trackways, linear ditches and banks, ring ditches and a line of pits or post-holes which appear to make up a relatively coherent pattern of enclosure. Finds recovered from the area (NHER 30853 and 12816) include some Iron Age material and a greater quantity of Roman material, as well as finds dating to the medieval and post to medieval periods. Although only a relatively small assemblage of Iron Age finds has been recovered, the morphology of the site suggests an Iron Age to Roman date. It is notable that in some places (e.g. TG 2018 3557 and TG 2022 3548) the ring ditches of Bronze Age round barrows (NHER 38448 and 38466) appear to be respected by the ditches and tracks of this later site.

Three ring ditches are visible (S1) to (S2). It is possible that they represent the remains of Bronze Age round barrows, a number of which have been identified in the area (e.g. NHER 38448), but their size and apparent integration with a series of enclosures suggest that they are likely to be the eaves drip gullies of roundhouses. The most complete ring ditch (at TG 2042 3554) is slightly oval in plan and measures approximately 12m east to west and 10m north to south. Breaks on its southern and eastern sides are as likely to be caused by geology masking the ditch as by genuine causeways. The western half of a second ring ditch lies to the southwest at TG 2039 3551. It has an approximate diameter of 10m. It appears to respect the ditch of the surrounding enclosure, suggesting that it was never a full circle and perhaps surrounded a semi-circular structure built against the boundary of the enclosure. A third partial ring ditch is visible at TG 2023 3541. It has a minimum diameter of 11.5m and is likely to have been sub-circular in plan. Its southeastern side is obscured by geological cropmarks. Although it lies within the pattern of fields and enclosures described below, its location less than 100m to the southeast of a Bronze Age linear barrow cemetery (NHER 39448) makes it the most likely of the three ring ditches to have been mistakenly identified as a round house rather than a round barrow.

The enclosures, field system and trackways extend across an area measuring approximately 670m east to west and 470m north to south (S1) to (S6). At least two sub-rectangular enclosures, together with outlying ditches (perhaps defining annexes to the main enclosures), appear to form a central area enclosing two of the ring ditches. (The corners of this area are: northwest = TG 2034 3557, southwest = 2033 3553, southeast = TG 2047 3548, northeast = TG 2049 3555). This is surrounded by a larger rectilinear enclosure, or is at least enclosed by a rectilinear pattern of field boundaries and trackways. This wider area is defined to the south by a 6m wide trackway visible from TG 2022 3539 to TG 2019 33541. To the west a ditch and/or trackway joins the southern track and is visible, albeit discontinuously, from TG 2019 3540 to TG 2033 3565. To the north a series of rather short lengths of linear and rectilinear ditch are visible over the northeastern part of the site, one of which (at TG 2034 3575) appears to have been embanked. An alignment of visible sections of ditch can be traced for 400m from TG 2030 3571 to TG 2031 3572, oriented at right angles to the western ditch or trackway. A second ditch alignment, visible for 140m from TG 2040 3558 to TG 2048 3570, runs parallel to the western track.

Three other elements are worthy of note. Firstly, the western half of what is probably a rectilinear enclosure measuring at least 56m wide (S4) and (S5), does not entirely conform to the general pattern and alignment of ditches, and may be pre or post date the other features. Its northern corner lies at TG 2050 3562, its southernmost visible point at TG 2049 3554. Secondly, an alignment of at least four pits or large post holes (the cropmarks of which are up to 4m wide) is visible for 54m from TG 2017 3540 to TG 2021 3543 (S2). This has an alignment only slightly different from the ditch or track whose line it crosses, and this general conformity with the overall pattern suggests it forms part of the Iron Age to Roman settlement and field system, presumably derived from a fence or other form of boundary. The presence of a Bronze Age linear barrow cemetery (NHER 36448) 60m to its northwest, however, suggests that other interpretations and dates are possible. Thirdly, approximately 190m of a third trackway is visible leading towards the central part of the site from the northwest (from TG 2003 3569 to TG 2018 3557) (S1). Three pits or post holes appear to line its southern side; another trackway may have joined it from the southwest just to their east (at TG 2009 3563). The track again conforms to the overall pattern and alignment of the site, but it also appears to lead towards a Bronze Age round barrow (NHER 38466), and could be associated with the earlier prehistoric landscape of the area.

It should be noted that elements of the site might in fact form part of the post medieval system of trackways and field boundaries to its east (NHER 38462) and vice versa. Similarly, as described above, other elements might be associated the with Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in the vicinity. Faint, parallel positive cropmarks of linear features at TG 2049 3575 and TG 2044 3565 (S7), which in form resemble medieval ridge and furrow, are likely to be of modern agricultural origin.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 18 February 2004.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • PIT ALIGNMENT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC to 409 AD)
  • PIT ALIGNMENT (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC to 409 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC to 409 AD)
  • RING DITCH (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC to 409 AD)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2350 BC to 409 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1992. NHER TG 2035AE (NLA 309/GLS13) 09-JUL-1992.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1976. NHER TG 2035J (NLA 28/AFD12) 01-JUL-1976.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1963. RAF 58/5842 (F22) 0008-9 23-JUL-1963 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7GR/LOC348 2128 27-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1996. RAF 39/6976 008-9 14-NOV-1996 (Norfolk SMR TG 1935J and TG 2035ABC).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1988. OS/88129 088-9 27-MAY-1988 (NMR).
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1976. NHER TG 2035N (NLA 28/AFE2) 01-JUL-1976.

Related records - none

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