Record Details

NHER Number:49307
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible late prehistoric to Roman enclosures and field systems

Summary

Aerial photographs of the area to the northwest of Chapel Farm show the cropmarks of a series of fragmentary field boundaries and enclosures. These features have not been securely dated but may be of late prehistoric to Roman date.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 36376 24535
Map Sheet:TG32SE
Parish:STALHAM, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

March 2007. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks of a series of fragmentary field boundaries and enclosures of unknown, but possibly late prehistoric to Roman date, are visible on aerial photographs to the northwest of Chapelfield Farm, Stalham (S1-S2). The site is centred on TG 3643 2455. Fieldwalking and metal detecting within this area has produced vast numbers of finds dating from the prehistoric to the post medieval period (NHER 8311, 13074, 32912 and 33139). Although, other than some pot boilers and pieces of worked flint, the majority of the finds are Roman or late in date.

The main components of site are fragmentary ditches, the majority of which are aligned roughly northeast-southwest or northwest-southeast, these are likely to be the remains of field boundaries of probable late prehistoric to Roman date. The cropmarks are likely to represent several phases of fields, although the common alignment of many of the boundaries would suggest the development of one system over a long period of time. A number of these boundaries are double ditched and are likely to represent trackways running alongside the fields. The clearest area of fields is centred on TG 3661 2462 (S1, S4). These appear to be positioned either side of a trackway and are broadly co-axial in arrangement. It is possible that some of the enclosed areas may have had a domestic as well as agricultural function.

An enclosure is located towards the northwestern edge of the site, centred on TG 3600 2486. This is located within the ‘Bloody Field’ (NHER 8311), where Roman cremation urns have been recovered, although it is not clear how the cropmarks relate to this phase of activity. The enclosure is broadly square in shape, measuring 50-55m across, with rounded corners (S1, S3). A large pit-like feature is visible within the interior. Although it must be noted that the ditches of this enclosure were mapped from soil and germination marks (S3) and therefore none of the features can be seen clearly and with any certainty. Other features recorded within this field in 1946 (S1) may be agricultural or related to drainage. However given the number of finds recorded for this area and the similarity of these vegetation marks to other cropmark features to the east, these have been mapped as possible archaeology.

Towards the southern edge of the site is a possible Roman date farmstead and associated fields (NHER 49302) that follows a slightly different alignment to the majority of these more fragmentary field boundaries. The relationship between the two sites is not certain, although it seems likely that the enclosure or farmstead is later than many of the field boundaries recorded under this number.
S. Massey (NMP) 29 March 2007.

Monument Types

  • COAXIAL FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD?)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2092-3 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1964. RAF 58/6112 (F42) 0153-4 01-JAN-1964 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72111 064-5 02-MAY-1972 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 3624D-E (NLA 32/AGD7-8) 13-JUL-1976.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. NHER TG 3623C-E (NLA 343/HVS6-7, SLIDE) 19-JUL-1994.

Related records - none

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