Record Details

NHER Number:27266
Type of record:Monument
Name:Field system of possible medieval date


A group of linear ditches, mainly defining fields and trackways of possible medieval date, is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. The site is characterised by double-ditched boundaries or trackways and, together with its orientation, this distinguishes it from another field system to its north (NHER 17673), elements of which may nevertheless also be of medieval date. Finds recovered from the area of the site (NHER 34026, 29794, 34027 and 35645) include prehistoric flints, Middle Saxon and post-medieval pottery, and a medieval coin. The excavation of one of the trackways (NHER 29794) produced no dating evidence, but although it remains uncertain a medieval date for the whole field system seems plausible. At the same time, a small number of the mapped cropmarks, which are oriented at a different angle to the main elements of the site, are likely to date to the post-medieval period.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4989 1537
Map Sheet:TG41NE

Full description

5 September 1970. Ordnance Survey air photography.
Positive cropmarks.
3 x linear feature.
Multiple linear features at varience with the modern field system.
D. Voisey (NLA), 11 January 1996.

29 July 1986. NAU air photography.
Trackways and linear marks.
D. Edwards (NLA).

March 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Some of the cropmarks described below were previously recorded as NHER 29794 and 34027.

A field system, defined by trackways and/or double-ditched boundaries, is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1-7), centred at TG 4985 1535. A medieval date for the field system can be postulated but in the absence of further supporting evidence it could date to any period from the prehistoric to the early post-medieval. Part of the site was excavated but this produced no dating evidence for the features (NHER 29794; S8; Sarah Bates, NAU, pers. comm.). The orientation, however, of most of the mapped features is at odds with, and presumably pre-dates, the modern field pattern, which derives from that depicted on 19th-century maps (e.g. S9). At the same time, some elements are contiguous with the later field pattern shown on historic maps (e.g. at TG 5017 1560) suggesting a certain degree of overlap between the two periods. In addition, its morphology contrasts with the field systems of probable prehistoric to Romano-British date mapped to its north-west (NHER 27259). Other of the mapped cropmarks, i.e. those oriented north-to-south at an angle to the main part of the site, are either depicted on Ormesby Tithe Map (S9) or lie parallel to field boundaries shown on the map, suggesting a post-medieval date for these elements of the site. The field system is visible across an area measuring approximately 850m by 530m and is broadly rectilinear in its layout.

It should be noted that a second trench has been excavated within the area of the site (NHER 29794; S8; Sarah Bates, NAU, pers. comm.). This was located to investigate a penannular 'enclosure', visible on aerial photographs and thought to represent an archaeological feature (S10). This is one of three circular cropmarks visible in the area (S4), all of which probably represent geological features rather than buried archaeology and consequently have not been mapped. The natural origin of the westernmost of these cropmarks was confirmed by the excavated trench.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 17 March 2005.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • TRACKWAY (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS 70-315-052.
<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/17 4012-3 28-MAY-1944 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 3041-2 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 5015B, TG 4915C).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70315 051-2 11-SEP-1970 (NMR).
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 4915A (NLA 55/AKW1) 01-AUG-1977.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 4916A-B (NLA 55/AKW2-3) 01-AUG-1977.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1986. NHER TG 4915D-E (NLA 184/DCX1-2) 29-JUL-1986.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1997. OS/97613 216-7 01-JUN-1997.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. and Crowson, A. 2004. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design for Archaeological Excavations and Watching Brief on the Bacton to Great Yarmouth Gas Pipeline, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 924. p 17.
<S9>Map: Ormesby St Margaret with Scratby and Ormesby St Michael Tithe Map (NRO DN/TA 470). 3 chains: 1 inch.
<S10>Unpublished Document: Trimble, G. and Cox, P. (AC Archaeology). 1998. Great Yarmouth Power Project Gas Pipeline. Archaeological Supplementary Study 2: Plots of Cropmarks and Soilmarks from Aerial Photographs. Map 6.

Related records - none

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