Record Details

NHER Number:5641
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Palaeolithic handaxes and other flint implements, Broomhill (Weeting with Broomhill, marginal)

Summary

Various museums across the country hold Palaeolithic objects recorded as being from "Broomhill" (or similar). There are more than 100 objects in total - mostly handaxes - the majority of which were recovered or acquired by many different individuals in the late 19th or early 20th century. It is believed that the bulk of this material was collected at a site known as the Broomhill Ballast Pit (NHER 5642), which was worked in the later 19th century. There is however at least one other pit in the Broomhill area that is known to have produced Palaeolithic material around this time so the provenance of these objects is far from certain. It is also possible that at least some of the objects in the museum collections recorded simply as coming from "Weeting" were also recovered from the Broomhill area (see NHER 5592 for details of these finds).

Images - none

Location

Parish:WEETING WITH BROOMHILL, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

A significant number of Palaeolithic artefacts have been recovered from the Broomhill area of Weeting parish. Although many of these objects survive in various museum collections, most were recovered by antiquarian collectors in the late 19th century and early 20th century and lack detailed information as to their provenance. Many are simply marked as being from ''Bromehill', "Broom Hill" or "BromeHill". These finds are likely to have come from either a ballast pit close to the railway line (NHER 5642) or another site referred as the Bromehill Cottage/Botany Bay pit (NHER 5943); both of which are recorded as having produced Palaeolithic material. The situation is further confused by the fact that this site was often referred to as being in or near Brandon (which is nearby but across the county line in Suffolk). A number of finds from this area are also simply recorded as being from 'Weeting'; these are recorded separately under NHER 5592.

Roe (S1) identified 111 objects in museum collections that are recorded as coming from Broomhill, including 83 handaxes, 9 roughouts, 11 retouched flakes/flake implements and 1 Levallois flake. These objects are recorded as being held by the British Museum, the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (CUMAA), the Edinburgh National Museum of Archaeology, Hastlemere Museum, Ipswich Museum, Norwich Castle Museum (NCM), the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums in Oxford, the Salisbury Museum, Warrington Museum and York Museum. Roe notes that the totals given should only be seen as approximate given the poorly provenanced nature of the material. See (S2) for a list of the accession numbers for the British Museum material. According to this note there is also "much unregistered" material from Broomhill.

Wymer (S3) lists a total of 87 handaxes as being from Broomhill; 40 in the British Museum, 13 in the CUMAA, two in Ipswich Museum, 11 in the NCM, 13 in the Ashmolean and eight in the Pitt Rivers Museum. It appears that Wymer considered much of this material to be from the ballast pit site (NHER 5642) and he also attributed a greater number of artefacts to the Botany Bay site (NHER 5643) that Roe did in a separate entry for this latter site. Other finds listed by Wymer in his discussion of the ballast pit site include nine primary flakes, a side scraper, another retouched flake and a quartzite hammerstone in the British Museum. A side scraper, a retouched flake and a thick flake worked as a handaxe are listed as being held by the Ashmolean.

Roe (S1) also lists a handaxe and a retouched flake/flake implement in the CUMAA what were from the "Broom Hill railway cutting". These were presumably found somewhere in the vicinity of ballast pit (NHER 5642). Wymer (S2) also mentions these finds, although he refers to two handaxes - he included these in list of handaxes found at Broomhill.

FINDS IN THE NORWICH CASTLE MUSEUM

For the most part it is difficult to provide further information on the material summarised by Roe and Wymer. The notable exception is the material held by the NCM, with (S2) and the museum accession records providing a certain amount of addional detail. Finds recorded by (S2) as coming from Broomhill (or similar) include:
- 11 handaxes and 1 single flake in the Fitch Collection (NWHCM : 1894.76, see finds records for breakdown of accession numbers).
- 1 handaxe in the Halls Collection (NWHCM : 1924.83) though to be from Broomhill (although it is marked as being found at Weeting).
- 1 handaxe in the F. N. Haward Collection (NWHCM : 1947.33.12 : A).
- 1 handaxe transferred from the Guildford Museum (Surrey) in 1962 (NWHCM : 1962.313). Marked "Valley of the Little Ouse River, Broomhill, Norfolk".
1 small handaxe transferred from the Letchworth Museum in 1998 (NWHCM : 1998.485.6). Marked "Broom".
- 1 cleaver transferred from the Northampton Museum (and therefore not one of the objects listed by either Roe or Wymer), recorded as being possibly from "Bromehill Pit" (NWHCM : 2000.68).

The S. S. George Collection in the NCM (NWHCM : 1963.120.30 : A) also includes a number of Palaeolithic implements of unspecified type that are recorded as being "possibly from the Broomhill site". It is however unclear whether Roe and Wymer included these in their totals for Broomhill. Wymer (S2) notes that the form and condition of this small assemblage suggests it may not be from the Broomhill area. See NHER 5592.

FINDS IN OTHER NORFOLK MUSEUMS

The Thetford Museum holds a small collection of four Palaeolithic handaxes that are recorded as coming from "Bromehill" (THEHM : 1977.160), probably during the 1920s. There is no further information on where these objects were recovered, although it is noted that one has brickearth adhering, suggesting that it may be a find from the Botany Bay Brick Pit (NHER 5643) or a nearby clay pit.

FINDS IN OTHER MUSEUMS

The Pitt Rivers Museum appears to hold 10 Palaeolithic objects from "Broom Hill" - less that the number of objects noted by Wymer. According to the museum's current records these are spread across a number of separate collections:
2 handaxes, 1 scraper and 1 ?Levallois flake (1884.122). Founding collection.
1 flake (1884.132.27). Founding collection.
2 handaxes and 1 flake (1892.67). Ex J. W. Flower.
2 ?handaxes ("Chellean implements") (1927.83.33). Brought at auction.
Although a small number of these objects are recorded as being from Broom Hill, Brandon, it is likely that all are from Weeting.

These finds are also noted in (S4) and (S5) although no additional information is given.

P. Watkins (HES), 20 May 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)

Associated Finds

  • CLEAVER (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • LEVALLOIS FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • LEVALLOIS FLAKE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • ROUGHOUT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • SIDE SCRAPER (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • SIDE SCRAPER (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8. p 242.
<S2>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S3>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. pp 103-104.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Wessex Archaeology. 1996. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Regions 9 (Great Ouse) and 12 (Yorkshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds). LLO-3, No.4.
<S5>Website: TERPS online database. Site 22748.

Related records - none

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