Record Details

NHER Number:5108
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Saxon pottery kiln and medieval settlement, Langhale


This site was excavated in 1970 revealing a Late Saxon or early medieval pottery kiln producing Thetford-type ware. The excavation also discovered the remains of a structure built by the end of the 12th century, and three medieval ditches. An earthwork ditch runs parallel to the road, and has been interpreted as a probable Late Saxon to medieval common boundary. An unusual medieval lead ampulla has been found by a metal detectorist. Langhale is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and this is one of several sites that represent a dispersed pattern of settlement in the Late Saxon and medieval periods.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 30 97
Map Sheet:TM39NW

Full description

1970. Excavation
Pottery kiln cut into by ditch dug in March 1969 along field boundary and Kiln about 45m (148ft) north of southern boundary of field.
Excavartion carried out K. Wade for M.P.B.W stripped by machine in a 40ft area down to the natural subsoil. A Saxon-Norman pottery-kiln was recorded it contained Thetford-ware cooking pot and no other features were contemporary with the kiln. There were however timber slots, post-holes and ditches from the 11th to the early 14th century. Upper limit of existing structure about 45cm (18") to 61cm (2ft) from surface of field. Kiln base at around 1.2m (4ft) depth from surface. Eastern edge of kiln possibly 0.6m (2ft) from field boundary with wood. Thetford ware included wasters. Half a mile south-west of this site, a large scatter of late Saxon and medieval pottery has been suggested to indicate the site of the deserted village of Langhale.
Kiln seen by E.B. Green (NCM) and W.F. Milligan (NCM).
Impossible to determine shape and orientation of kiln, as apparently ditch just cut into firing chamber. No sign of floor just baking of clay surrounds. Chamber filled with broken vessels. Flint deposit about 5cm (2") of carbonised material in base.
See (S2) for further information.
E.B. Green (NCM) amended by M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 22 May 2013.

Excavations by K.R. Wade (SAU) on medieval kiln site producing mainly Thetford-type ware.
See (S1).

August to September 1999. Metal detecting.
Medieval unusually shaped pilgirm's ampulla.
See description in file.
K. Hinds (NLA), 23 February 2000.

1999 to 2002. Metal detecting.
Much detecting over three years in area of arable adjacent to kiln site has failed to locate any medieval or earlier material.
Probably valid negative evidence.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 8 October 2002.

(S1) also describes the excavation of a Late Saxon/early medieval structure that post-dates the kiln and three medieval ditches. The construction of the building has been dated to the late 12th century at the latest.
The Late Saxon and early medieval settlement of Langhale appears to have been quite dispersed, and concentrations of pottery have also been found near Moat Farm and Bethel Farm, see NHER 10454 and 10144. NHER 10144 is also the possible site of the medieval parish church of St Christopher. An earthwork ditch runs parallel to the road from the fields west of Langhale House to the kiln site. The ditch has been interpreted as a probable common boundary, and has been dated to the late 11th or early 12th century.
See (S1) for more details.
S. Spooner (NLA) 21 April 2006

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUILDING (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POTTERY KILN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POTTERY WORKS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POTTERY KILN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POTTERY WORKS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • AMPULLA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---(No record type): Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Kirstead [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Monograph: Wade, K.. 1976. Excavations at Langhale, Kirstead.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol II. pp101-129.
<S2>Article in serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1972. Medieval Britain in 1970. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XV (for 1971) pp 124-179. p129.

Related records

10454Related to: Late Saxon to medieval settlement, Langhale (Monument)
10144Related to: Site of St Christopher's Church, Langhale (Monument)

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