Record Details

NHER Number:52140
Type of record:Monument
Name:Rectangular enclosure of possible Neolithic or later prehistoric date, Harford Park and Ride

Summary

A rectangular enclosure recorded through excavation and visible on aerial photographs within the Harford Park and Ride development excavation area (NHER 39268). The excavations suggested that the enclosure was potentially Neolithic in date and represented a mortuary enclosure or similar funerary feature, however the aerial photographic interpretation could alternatively suggest that the enclosure represents a later settlement or stock enclosure dating to the Bronze Age, or Iron Age, and possibly associated with a series of field boundaries (NHER 52141) that surround the enclosure.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2168 0399
Map Sheet:TG20SW
Parish:KESWICK, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

These cropmarks were previously recorded under NHER 9753. The excavations of these features as part of the Harford Park and Ride development are under NHER 39268.

August 2009. Norfolk NMP.
A rectangular enclosure recorded through excavation and visible on aerial photographs (S1-S3) within the Harford Park and Ride development excavation area (NHER 39268) (S4-S5). The excavations suggested that the enclosure was potentially Neolithic in date and represented a mortuary enclosure or similar funerary feature, however the aerial photographic interpretation could alternatively suggest that the enclosure represents a later settlement or stock enclosure dating to the Bronze Age, or Iron Age, and associated with a series of field boundaries (NHER 52141) that surround the enclosure. The site is centred on TG 2168 0399.
The enclosure is rectangular and measures 48m by 35m. The aerial photographs only reveal a partial plan of the enclosure, with only the northern and southern ditches being clearly visible. The excavations however revealed the full circuit, including two entrances, one to the east and another to the west. The aerial photographs suggest relatively insubstantial internals ditches or fences within the enclosure, however these were not recorded within the excavated area. Although the mapping could suggest that these ditches were not directly contemporary with the enclosure as they appear to continue past the enclosure ditch.
This enclosure (Enclosure 3841 in report (S5)) was dated to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (Phase 2) within the Harford Park and Ride excavations and was interpreted as representing a long mortuary enclosure. The enclosure was described as a palisaded enclosure in the interim report (S5), due to the presence of a distinctive slot to the base of the ditch. This was interpreted as relating to timber palisade formed of a continuous alignment of posts. The ditch fills suggested the deliberate backfilling of the ditch after a relatively short time-scale, possibly after the insertion of the posts into the slot base. The lack of evidence for post-pipes within the ditch fills could also have indicated that this postulated palisade was dismantled after a relatively short period of time (S5).
Although the excavators felt that the monument was probably constructed during Phase 2, a more precise dating was problematic owing to the paucity of finds from primary contexts and a lack of suitable material for radiocarbon dating (S5). The southern ditch of this enclosure truncated a small ring-gully (3842) containing beaker pottery, which was also assigned to Phase 2 (S5). This ring ditch was not visible on the aerial photographs. The proposed Period 2 date of the rectangular enclosure was suggested due to the presence of beaker pottery within a probable recut of the south ditch (S5). The presence of a burnt flint axe of likely Later Neolithic/Early Bronze Age date found within a pit in the eastern entrance, was also taken to indicate a contemporary date for the enclosure.
Whilst it is feasible that the enclosure does represent a later Neolithic mortuary enclosure, the close relationship between the site and the surrounding fields, recorded from a combination of excavation and aerial photograph evidence (NHER 52141) would suggest that it represents a settlement or agricultural enclosure associated with those fields, interpreted as being Iron Age in date (S4-S5), see NHER 52141 for discussion. The enclosure appears to sit neatly within this area of fields, with the short sides of the enclosure following the dominant alignment of the fields. The NMP mapping and the overall excavation plans would indicate a clear relationship between the enclosure and the Iron Age fields running to either side, with at least one ditch appearing to abut the enclosure. Given the apparently short-lived nature of this enclosure, suggested by the excavated sections, and the relatively insubstantial nature of these possible palisaded boundary, it seems unlikely that such a relationship would exist between the Neolithic and Iron Age components of the landscape. See record NHER 52141 for discussion of this field system.
S. Horlock (NMP), 23 August 2009.

Monument Types

  • FARMSTEAD? (Unknown date)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • STOCK ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)
  • MORTUARY ENCLOSURE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC?)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC?)
  • FARMSTEAD? (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2350 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2350 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • STOCK ENCLOSURE? (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2350 BC? to 42 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1978. CUCAP (CGF10-13) 03-JUL-1978.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1980. CUCAP (CMK76-7) 03-JUL-1980.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 2104T (NLA 367/HYG5) 02-JUL-1996.
<S4>Unpublished document: Trimble, G.. 2004. NAU Report No. 938. Assessment Report and Post Excavation Project Design, Harford Park and Ride, Harford, Norfolk..
<S5>Unpublished document: Trimble, G.. Excavation of a Prehistoric and Roman site at Harford Park and Ride, Keswick, Norfolk, 2003 (Unfinished draft).

Related records

39268Part of: Harford Park and Ride site; complex multi-phase prehistoric and Roman site (Monument)
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