Record Details

NHER Number:50825
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of small enclosures of possible medieval to post medieval date, perhaps the former site of Rackheath village

Summary

Clusters of small, mainly rectilinear, ditched enclosures, probably of medieval to post medieval date, are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. They form part of an extensive area of complex multi-period cropmarks (NHER 50811), of which they appear to be one of the latest elements. They may represent the remains of Rackheath village from before its relocation further to the south. This presumably took place before the late 18th century, as there is little evidence of the village’s former extent on Faden’s Map of Norfolk. A bibliographic source of c. 1900, together with information from a local resident, indicates that traces of the settlement (NHER 12638) were evident around Great Rackheath church (NHER 8175). The enclosures described here lie a short distance to the northeast, but their general pattern and orientation, which is consistent with that of the modern landscape, indicates that they are probably of medieval to post medieval date and thus may be contemporary the former village. This conformity with the modern field pattern is shared by clusters of probable post medieval field boundaries (NHER 50817) also visible in this same spread of cropmarks. It contrasts with that of some of the earlier cropmarks with which they overlap, including a fragmentary field system of possible Iron Age and/or Roman date (NHER 50818).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2780 1525
Map Sheet:TG21NE
Parish:RACKHEATH, BROADLAND, NORFOLK
SALHOUSE, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

February 2008. Norfolk NMP.
Three clusters of small, mainly rectilinear, ditched enclosures, probably of medieval to post medieval date, are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1)-(S2), centred at TG 2772 1516, TG 2802 1523 and TG 2802 1543. They form part of an extensive area of complex multi-period cropmarks (NHER 50811), of which they appear to be one of the latest elements. They may represent the remains of Rackheath village from before its relocation further to the south. This presumably took place before the late 18th century, as there is little evidence of the village's former extent on Faden's Map of Norfolk (S3). A bibliographic source of c. 1900, together with information from a local resident, indicates that traces of the settlement (NHER 12638) were evident around Great Rackheath church (NHER 8175). The enclosures described here lie a short distance to the northeast, but their general pattern and orientation, which is consistent with that of the modern landscape, indicates that they are probably of medieval to post medieval date and thus may be contemporary with the former village. In most cases, for example, at least one side of the enclosure is formed by a modern field or road boundary, and there appears to be some relationship with features depicted on Rackheath Tithe Map (S4), for example the enclosure or small field shown at TG 2801 1513, and the three fields and a building shown to the east of Church Farm. This conformity with the modern field pattern is shared by clusters of probable post medieval field boundaries (NHER 50817) also visible in this same spread of cropmarks. It contrasts the orientation of some of the earlier cropmarks with which the enclosures overlap, which include a fragmentary field system of possible Iron Age and/or Roman date (NHER 50818).
As only three sides of each enclosure are visible, there is little benefit in detailed morphological recording. All are broadly rectilinear, ranging from roughly rectangular to trapezoidal in plan. One (at TG 2756 1522) measures 60m long and 36m wide, and contains a possible internal pit. The remainder are in the same approximate size range, and several possess possible internal divisions.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 14 February 2008.

Monument Types

  • DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • PIT? (Unknown date)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • TRAPEZOIDAL ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TRAPEZOIDAL ENCLOSURE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1976. MAL 76053 096 29-JUN-1976 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1990. OS/90224 146-7 31-JUL-1990 (NMR).
<S3>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S4>Map: Manning, J.. 1834. Rackheath Tithe Map. No scale.

Related records

50811Part of: Site of complex, multi-period field boundaries, trackways and enclosures (Monument)
12638Related to: Site of old medieval village (Monument)
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