Record Details

NHER Number:42149
Type of record:Monument
Name:Drainage ditches of predominantly post medieval date

Summary

Drainage ditches, probably predominantly of post medieval to modern date, are visible as earthworks and cropmarks on aerial photographs. This area is depicted as undrained marshland on Faden’s 1797 map of Norfolk and it is possible that some elements of the site pre-date its 19th century drainage and enclosure. Other elements fit the pattern of drains depicted on late 19th and early 20th century Ordnance Survey maps and some appear to still be in use on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s. These elements may date to the modern period although they could have earlier origins. Aerial photographs of the site taken in the 1970s indicate that the former earthwork elements of the site have probably been levelled.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 4509 2393
Map Sheet:TG42SE
Parish:SEA PALLING, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

November 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Linear features, probably drainage ditches, are visible as earthworks and cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1) to (S4), centred at TG 4511 2395. The area is depicted as undrained marshland (part of Waxham Marsh) on Faden’s map of 1797 (S5), and some elements of the site could pre-date its drainage and enclosure in the 19th century. For example, a curvilinear vegetation mark and earthwork visible between TG 4490 2403 and TG 4502 2397 is rather dubious as an archaeological feature but it does not obviously relate to drainage and it could have defined some kind of enclosure. Other elements, such as the linear bank and ditch (or possibly trackway) visible between TG 4514 2401 and TG 4527 2376, which had become overgrown or levelled by the 1940s, probably relate to an early attempt to drain the area. This is most likely to date to the 19th century, when the area was enclosed, as shown on Waxham Tithe and Enclosure Maps, (S6) and (S7), but could reflect an earlier attempt at drainage. They could be associated with a second group of drains visible immediately to the south (NHER 42150). Other elements of the site, principally the more substantial rectilinear ditches visible around TG 4514 2404, appear to have still been in use as drains in the 1940s and also fit the drainage pattern depicted on historic Ordnance Survey maps (for example (S8)). These probably superseded the earlier drains (described above) and could date to as late as the 20th century, although earlier origins cannot be ruled out. The rectilinear area they enclose, which seems to have been a focus for the drainage work, may have had some specialised function (presumably agricultural) or may have been wetter either due to extractive activity (of peat or clay for example) or the presence of a natural pool. Aerial photographs of the site taken in the 1970s (S9) indicate that the former earthwork elements of the site have now probably been levelled.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 11 November 2005.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)
  • OVAL ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY? (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval to Modern - 1540 AD to 2050 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Post Medieval to Modern - 1540 AD to 2050 AD)
  • DRAINAGE SYSTEM (Post Medieval to Modern - 1540 AD to 2050 AD)
  • TRACKWAY? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1943. RAF AC/161 5146-7 04-JAN-1943 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/832 3199-200 23-SEP-1945 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2106-7 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5336-7 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S5>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S6>Map: Waxham Enclosure Map.
<S7>Map: Wright, J.. 1840. Waxham Tithe Map.
<S8>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889 - 1891. Ordnance Survey first edition 6 inch map.. 1:10,560.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72053 207-8 23-MAR-1972.

Related records - none

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