Record Details

NHER Number:7705
Type of record:Monument
Name:Round or oval barrow on Alderford Common, Swannington


This is the site of a prominent Neolithic or Bronze Age round or oval barrow, situated on Alderford Common, with an ancient trench through it, presumably from an antiquarian excavation. There are a number of pits in the surrounding area from which the earth for the mound may have been drawn. A Neolthic polished axehead, and some Bronze Age and Roman pottery sherds have been recovered from this area. This mound is also visible on aerial photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1274 1828
Map Sheet:TG11NW

Full description

Polished flint axe said to have been taken from barrow. Noted and figured in (S4).
In NCM. [1]

W. G. Clarke asks if this is one on Alderford Common.
J. D. Wortley says near cross roads on Alderford Common (but what about site NHER 5006? R. R. Clarke NCM)
Noted by (S1).

British Museum (1934,0712.1) has from barrow on Alderford Common 'in Swannington Parish' handled food vessel 4 inches [10cm] high "from barrow which had been twice disturbed". - British Museum register. Donated by A. Becklan (British Museum) - or J. D. Wortley (R. R. Clarke NCM). Found around 1928-9.

Visited R. R. Clarke (NCM) 27 June 1935.
Bracken covered, no visible ditch, 20 paces diameter, pit in middle - wide trench to southwest. Around 6ft (1.8m) high. Sandy soil.

Marked on 1st edition 1 inch Ordnance Survey map, 1838.

Dug into by quarry on east side.
(S2), (S3), (S4)

Mound 28m diam, 2m high much mutilated on overgrown quarried common.
Compiled by A. J. Lawson (NAU), January 1976. (S5).

Details and copies of photos in file.

October 1983. No change but much mutilated on west side.
December 1987. Posts erected on and around it to keep off motor cycles.
J. J. Wymer (NAU).

Roman pot recorded as being in British Museum is an error, did it ever exist?
Ordnance Survey Records (S6).
R. J. Rickett (NLA), 9 July 1990.

29 May 1997. Prominent bracken-covered mound, several metres high.
The west half mainly clear of trees, the east less so. Wide deep 'trench' through the centre (ancient), now a rough path. No signs of any recent damage.
Compiled by D. Gurney (NLA), 30 May 1997.

February 2003.
Whole area very wet, with much bracken cover and scrubby thorn. Trench with path bisects. Deep pit to east, could this have contributed to upcast to form the mound? Other pits on the common.
H. Paterson (A&E), 11 March 2004.

April 2010. Norfolk NMP.
The earthworks of a Neolithic or Bronze Age round or oval barrow are visible on aerial photographs on Alderford Common (S7-S8). The site is centred on TG 1274 1828 and measures 20.5m by 25m (as is visible on the aerial photographs). This is smaller than the mound previously recorded on the ground and this may be due the full extent of the monument being obscured by vegetation on the aerial photographs. The possible traces of the outer ring ditch may be visible to the southwest of the mound (S7). The mound also looks quite oval in shape on the aerial photographs, although none of the previous site visits would suggest that this is the case and it may be that the apparent oval shape may be due to ground vegetation and tree over partially obscuring the monument on the aerial photographs. Although it does raise the possibility that the mound relate to a Neolithic oval barrow and not a Bronze Age round barrow. The recovery of a Neolithic polished axe from the mound, see above, may also indicate a Neolithic date for the barrow, whether it was originally round or oval.
S. Horlock (NMP), 26 April 2010.

13 May 2011.
Site has been cleared of trees (not destumped) and apart from a little regrowth and some saplings the monument's management is much improved.
D. Gurney (HES), 16 May 2011.

Monument Types

  • OVAL BARROW? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC?)
  • RING DITCH? (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 701 BC)

Associated Finds

  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG1218 D-E.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Swannington [2].
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Swannington.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: CXV 35, EMD 3.
<S1>Publication: Clarke, W.G.. 21 January 1. Mss note.
<S2>Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1913. Norfolk Barrows. The Antiquary. Vol XLIX pp 416-423. p 422.
<S3>Publication: Evans, J. 1897. The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain. 2nd Edition. p 110.
<S4>Publication: Wortley, J. D. 1929. Antiquarian Treasures Discovered at Swannington, Norfolk. No 1.
<S5>Monograph: Lawson, A. J., Martin, E., Priddy, D. and Taylor, A. 1981. The Barrows of East Anglia. East Anglian Archaeology. No 12.
<S6>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 11 NW 2; TG 11 NW 10.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 3112-4 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1971. MAL/71020 075-6 11-APR-1971 (NMR).

Related records - none

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