Record Details

NHER Number:52284
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of a Bronze Age barrow

Summary

The site of a Bronze Age barrow is visible on aerial photographs that formed part of the Harford Farm barrow cemetery (NHER 52280) excavated in advance of construction of the A47 Southern Bypass, for details of the excavation see record NHER 9794. This barrow formed part of the main focus of the cemetery situated on the hill-top overlooking the River Tas to the southeast. During the Anglo-Saxon period this barrow becomes the focus of an inhumation cemetery (see NHER 9794 for details).

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2245 0422
Map Sheet:TG20SW
Parish:CAISTOR ST EDMUND, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

This site was previously recorded under NHER 9794.

June 2009. Norfolk NMP.
The site of a Bronze Age barrow is visible on aerial photographs (S1-S2), that formed part of the Harford Farm barrow cemetery (NHER 52280) excavated in advance of construction of the A47 Southern Bypass (S3), for details of the excavation see record NHER 9794. This barrow, located at TG 2245 0422, formed part of the main focus of the cemetery situated on the hill-top overlooking the River Tas to the southeast. During the Anglo-Saxon period this barrow becomes the focus of an inhumation cemetery (see NHER 9794 for details). This monument is referred to as ring ditch ‘1022’ in the excavation report (S3).
The cropmarks reveal a broad sub-circular or polygonal penannular ditch, with a causeway to the south. The cropmarks would suggest that the causeway is up to 13m wide, however the excavation plans (S3) indicate that this may not have been the case and that the gap may have been smaller, around 7m. The cropmark ditch varies in width from 1.5m to 3m, with a pronounced bulge in the ditch to the north, although this was not detected in the excavation and it may be that it is the result of an intersection with a geologically derived cropmark. The excavations suggested that the ditch was steep-sided and was originally very deep, as it survived up to a depth of 1.7m despite plough truncation (S3). The aerial photographs suggest that a linear ditch fills the area of the causeway. The excavations revealed this apparent linear ditch was actually made up of three large elongated intercutting pits. Two of these pits had ramp-like qualities and the sequence was tentatively interpreted relating to the construction and then removal of a timber structure marking the entrance to the barrow space (S3).
The aerial photographs reveal the former presence of the barrow mound (S1). The cropmarks potentially indicate an off-centre oval mound, 20m by 17m, located within the eastern part of the ditched enclosure. However it is possible that this mound was once circular and filled the entirety of the ring ditch and that the western side of it had been more adversely affected by ploughing than the eastern. Although the fact that the main burial deposits, which consisted of three intercutting grave pits, encountered during the excavations and visible on the aerial photographs as a pit (S2), is also off-centre to the west, it is feasible that the mound was originally to one side. It is possible that if the monument did have a wooden entrance structure across the ditch causeway then it is feasible that there may be an area of open space adjacent to this entrance, necessitating the off-centre mound, although see below for suggestion that there was a considerable period of use of the monument prior to the mound construction. One argument against this interpretation is that one of the two ditch sections (1397) that contained stony deposits, assumed to be mound material, was located on the western side of the monument (S3).
The repeated use of the same off-centre spot for three burials may indicate that the mound was constructed some time after the primary burial was interred or that the burial location was marked on top of mound in some way, perhaps by a post or similar marker (S3)
Along with the northern barrow within this cemetery (NHER 52281), this mound became the focus for an Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery, see NHER 9794 and (S3) for details. The differential survival of Anglo-Saxon graves within the ring ditch, in particular those to the east, suggested that the mound may have been separated from the ditch by a berm up to 2m wide (S3). The NMP mapping would validate this interpretation for the eastern part of the monument; however the northern part of the mound appears to continue up to the line of the ditch, although this may be due to plough spreading of mound material.
S. Horlock (NMP), 25 June 2009.

Monument Types

  • GRAVE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • MOUND (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • PIT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1962. RAF 543/1883 (F22) 0100-1 27-SEP-1962 (NMR).
<S2>Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1973. CUCAP (BOB53) 05-JUL-1973.
<S3>Monograph: Ashwin, T.. 2000. Norwich Southern Bypass Project.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 91 & 92.

Related records

52280Part of: Harford Farm barrow cemetery (Monument)
9794Part of: Multi-period site at Harford Farm (Monument)
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