Record Details

NHER Number:50726
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of possible Iron Age to Roman period field system

Summary

Fragmentary cropmarks of unknown date, visible on aerial photographs, may represent remnants of a field system of possible Iron Age to Roman date. The cropmarks form part of an area of complex multi-period cropmarks, of which they appear to be one of the earliest elements. Their orientation is generally at odds with that of the modern field pattern, and of cropmarks dating to later phases of activity with which they overlap, including field boundaries of probable post medieval date (NHER 50819) and a settlement of probable late medieval to early post medieval date (NHER 50727). The cropmarks share their orientation and general character with an extensive group of coaxial field systems of probable Iron Age and/or Roman date identified over large areas of the uplands of Norfolk’s Broads zone. A similar date is therefore likely for the cropmarks described here, and for others with a similar orientation and character in the vicinity (NHER 50713 to the north, NHER 50818 to the west). Roman brooches may also have been found in the area (NHER 33632).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2932 1466
Map Sheet:TG21SE
Parish:RACKHEATH, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
SALHOUSE, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

January 2008. Norfolk NMP.
Fragmentary cropmarks of unknown date are visible on aerial photographs (S1)-(S9), centred at TG 2943 1465. They may represent the remnants of a field system of possible Iron Age to Roman date. They form part of an area of complex multi-period cropmarks, of which they appear to be one of the earliest elements. Their orientation is generally at odds with that of the modern field pattern, and of cropmarks dating to later phases of activity with which they overlap, including field boundaries of possible post medieval date (NHER 50819) and a settlement of probable late medieval to early post medieval date (NHER 50727). They share their orientation and general character with an extensive group of coaxial field systems of probable Iron Age and/or Roman date identified over large areas of the uplands of Norfolk’s Broads zone (see Albone et al. 2007 (S10)). The site described here includes a small rectilinear enclosure attached to one of the field boundaries (at TG 2996 1486), a typical feature of this group of sites (ibid. (S10), p 40). Consequently, a similar date is postulated for the cropmarks described here, and for others with a similar orientation and character in the vicinity (NHER 50713 to the north, NHER 50818 to the west). Roman brooches may also have been found in the area (NHER 33632).

The cropmarks are visible across an area measuring approximately 1955m by 1020m. They are so fragmentary that any morphological characteristics are difficult to define, but a northwest-southeast and northeast-southwest orientation is clear, and a broadly co-axial pattern probable. A few double-ditched elements may represent the remains of trackways running through the field system. The small enclosure, mentioned above, lies on the eastern side of the site. It is rectilinear in plan and measures 13m long and 10m wide. Parts of other enclosures may also have been mapped, including at least part of the previously recorded site NHER 18128). It should be noted that the cropmarks assigned to this phase were often faint and poorly defined, and that in many cases their origin and archaeological significance are uncertain. The group contains several curvilinear elements, some or all of which could be of geological origin (there are extensive areas of frost-cracking visible as cropmarks). Other elements could be of more recent origin, related to the World War Two airfield (NHER 8170) that once stood here. Other elements could have been mistakenly assigned to the wrong phase, or included (or not) in the groups of unphased cropmarks visible across these same fields (NHER 50725 and 50823). Overall, however, the shared orientation of the cropmarks and their persistent character indicates that the site as a whole is almost certainly genuine, even if not every element is certain.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 24 January 2008.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • COAXIAL FIELD SYSTEM? (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM? (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY? (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • COAXIAL FIELD SYSTEM? (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • DITCH (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM? (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)
  • TRACKWAY? (Late Bronze Age to Roman - 800 BC? to 409 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1976. MAL 76053 094, 096 29-JUN-1976 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1976. MAL 76053 167, 169-70 29-JUN-1976 (NMR).
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1981. NHER TG 2915A-B (NLA 121/ARQ13-5) 15-SEP-1981.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1986. NHER TG 2915D-G (NLA 180/DBU26-9) 17-JUL-1986.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1986. NHER TG 2915H-S (NLA 180/DBW1-10) 17-JUL-1986.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 0134-5 07-AUG-1988 (NCC 3279-80).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1990. OS/90224 130-2 31-JUL-1990 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1990. OS/90224 147-50 31-JUL-1990 (NMR).
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 2914G-H (NLA 361/JDP10-1) 19-JUN-1996.
<S10>Unpublished document: Albone, J. & Massey. S, with Tremlett, S.. 2007. The Archaeology of Norfolk's Broads Zone. Results of the National Mapping Programme. English Heritage Project No: 2913. pp 36-44.

Related records

18128Parent of: Site of possible enclosure of unknown date (Monument)
50818Related to: Site of possible Iron Age to Roman period field system (Monument)
50714Related to: Site of possible Iron Age to Roman period field system (Monument)
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