Record Details

NHER Number:52277
Type of record:Monument
Name:Iron Age roundhouse, Harford Farm

Summary

The cropmarks of a roundhouse of probable Iron Age date are visible on aerial photographs and is located just outside of the excavated area at Harford Farm on the route of the Southern Bypass (NHER 9794).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2248 0438
Map Sheet:TG20SW
Parish:CAISTOR ST EDMUND, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

November 2009. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks of a roundhouse of probable Iron Age date are visible on aerial photographs (S1) and is located just outside of the excavation area at Harford Farm on the route of the Southern Bypass (NHER 9794) which forms the parent record for the excavations and associated cropmarks. The site is centred on TG 2248 0438 which lies in-between the two areas of open excavation undertaken. The cropmark was visible on aerial photographs taken prior to the excavations, but was unfortunately was not identified prior to the NMP mapping.
The cropmarks reveal a post-built circular structure, 11m in diameter, with a large and elaborate porch structure, approximately 9m long and 4m wide, and aligned E-W (S1). Comparison of the size and plan of this new roundhouse and excavated ones is reveals many similarities in construction and dimensions (S2). However there is one crucial difference – the alignment of the porch structures – all of the excavated examples are aligned to the NW-SE, as are the contemporary fence lines and other possible components of this phase of Iron Age settlement, see NHER 52314 and (S2) for discussion. The similarities in construction would tend to suggest an Iron Age date for this roundhouse, however the different porch alignment could indicate that it represents a house or similar structure either dating to a slightly different period, potentially later, or having a slightly different function. Obviously without excavation no definite interpretations can be made on the basis of the cropmarks alone.
One possible hint to the roundhouse representing a component of a later phase of settlement and/or agricultural activity is that the porch alignment mirrors that of a pair of boundary ditches recorded within the excavations, but not securely dated (S2). The ditches (6002 and 3048 in excavation report) clearly post-dated one of the Iron Age roundhouses (3004) and was cut by one of the square-ditched enclosures, interpreted as being later Iron Age or early Roman in date (S2). These ditches would appear therefore appear to be dated to the Mid to later Iron Age. Given the shared alignment of the excavated ditches and the porch of the new roundhouse, it could tentatively be suggested that these elements represent parts of a separate and later phase of Iron Age settlement, where the dominant axis and alignment of the settlement has shifted. Other cropmark boundaries also following this E-W alignment, or running perpendicular to it, were identified within the wider area of the Harford Farm excavation and these have been recorded under NHER 52278). These boundaries and enclosures are likely to represent fields and enclosed stock areas contemporary with this roundhouse. The square-ditched enclosures, which are also aligned along this E-W cardinal axis, are likely to represent the culmination of this phase of activity, see NHER 52289 for detailed discussion.
S. Horlock (NMP), 23 November 2009.

Monument Types

  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Unknown date)
  • STRUCTURE (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Iron Age - 800 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Iron Age - 800 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • STRUCTURE (Iron Age - 800 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • RING DITCH (Middle Iron Age to Late Iron Age - 400 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Middle Iron Age to Late Iron Age - 400 BC to 42 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (Middle Iron Age to Late Iron Age - 400 BC? to 42 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1980. NHER TG 2204ABF (NLA 95/APW9) 15-JUL-1980.
<S2>Monograph: Ashwin, T.. 2000. Norwich Southern Bypass Project.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 91 & 92.

Related records

9794Part of: Multi-period site at Harford Farm (Monument)
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