Record Details

NHER Number:27186
Type of record:Monument
Name:Post medieval sea defence bank and enclosure


The earthworks of a post-medieval sea defence bank and enclosure on the Salthouse saltmarsh, are visible on RAF aerial photographs from 1946. Other possible features include a saltern of possibly earlier date.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 06703 44337
Map Sheet:TG04SE

Full description

October 2002. Norfolk NMP.
The earthworks of a complex series of sea defence banks and enclosed areas of saltmarsh, visible on RAF aerial photographs from 1946 (S1) and Hunting Survey photographs from 1969 (S2). The system of banks are centred on TG 0647 4438. The enclosures consist of two pairs of banks and ditches which are in part roughly parallel to one another, approximately running from TG 0695 4461 to TG 0672 4405 and from TG 0619 4420 to TG 0642 4466. These two pairs are linked by a linear bank running from TG 0684 4452 to TG 0642 4466 and then it continues to the south west until TG 0630 4461. These banks have corresponding ditches to the west, although these are also quite fragmentary. Seemingly co-joined to the southeastern corner of the enclosure banks is a linear ditch or drain running from TG 0674 4405 to TG 0726 4401. This is visible in four sections (divided by later drains) for a total of 530m. The banks are depicted on a copy of a map of 1648 (1648-9) (S3), which show the ‘Salthouse and Kellinge Marishes in the County of Norff. As they were imbanked and Divided into Common and Severall inclosures AD 1648/1649…’. The sea walls are marked as ‘Bank 1649’ and as ‘Wall dividing Salthouse and Cley’. The banks mapped follow a similar course, although they are much less regular than those depicted on the map. It is possible that they banks depicted on the map may be the lines of planned banks, rather than existing ones. This is also indicated by the fact that the map is dated 1648 and the banks are marked as 1649. The banks appear to continue to the west on the map, although no further traces of these features could be detected on the aerial photographs, as a later drain has been cut through this area. Banks are apparent to either side of this drain, although they may relate to the later construction. At TG 0653 4455 is an irregular oval shaped mound, measuring 88m by 57m. It is possible that this is a saltern mound, possibly medieval in date. To the immediate south of this is a fragmentary line of banked linears, running from TG 0649 4453 to TG 0644 4430. It is possible that these represent the line of an earlier sea bank or enclosure, which has since been superceded by the 1649 enclosures.
S. Massey (NMP), 7 January 2003.

December 2004. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey.
Land-based survey; Cley, Salthouse and Kelling fresh-marshes, Context 7:
A Y-shaped sea defence bank, located between TG 06307 44619 and TG 06020 44493. Viewed from a distance, from the top of the modern shingle sea defence bank. This could be one of the banks built in 1649 and shown on a map dating to the same year.
It is possible that a shallow 'u'-shaped ditch was also part of NHER 27186 (Context 24, NHER 42734).
See assessment report (S4) for further details.
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.421).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 5 December 2007. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 21 July 2019.

Monument Types

  • SALTERN (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SEA DEFENCES (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1701 3044-5 27-AUG-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 0644A-B).
<S2>Aerial Photograph: HSL. 1969. HSL UK/69/949 0099-0100 20-NOV-1969 (Norfolk SMR TG 0544B, TG 0644B).
<S3>Map: 1648. Cley-Weybourne Marshes. 736 x 8.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Robertson, D., Crawley, P., Barker, A., and Whitmore, S. 2005. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey. Assessment Report and Updated Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1045.

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