Record Details

NHER Number:8311
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman cremation cemetery and multi-period finds


Between 1830 and 1854 labourers recovered what was probably a Palaeolithic flint handaxe and several Roman cremation urns. Later reports indicate that at least one of the urns may have contained ashes and that coins of Antoninus may have been found with them. Fieldwalking in 1987 and metal-detecting in 1996 has recovered Roman, Saxon, medieval and post medieval pottery as well as flint flakes and blades and a post medieval mould possibly used to produce musket balls.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3583 2492
Map Sheet:TG32SE

Full description

1830. Casual Finds.
Several Roman urns were recovered in Stalham. Drawings of the urns variably refer to being one of a group of two, three or four objects. The exact number is therefore uncertain, but four urns were drawn. Three drawings are labeled as found in 1830 and area described here. One is labelled as found in 1854 (see below).
Urn I: One of two identical earthen urns found by workmen and broken during digging.
Urn II: Earthen urn found with three others in a field at Stalham. Small jar with constricted neck.
Urn III: Earthen urn found, together with two others, by laboureres in a field at Stalham. All were broken during digging. Small bowl with constricted foot.
See copies of drawing in file (S1).
These drawings are also referenced in (S2).
According to (S3) a Roman jar found with two others in 'The Roman Field' in 1830 contained fragments of bones.
J. Webb indicated in 1939 that 'Roman' coins of Antoninus were dug up in the same field.
It is possible that this pottery is from Chapel Field where many lathe turned urns of blue clay were found (S4). Woodward (S5) illustrates a jar 17.8cm (7in) high and 17.8cm (7in) across.
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

1853. Stray Find.
Found in "The Bloody Field":
1 "?Acheulian axe". Presumably a Palaeolithic flint handaxe. This find is described and figured in (S6).
Information from (S7).
This find is almost certainly the reason that Stalham was listed in (S8) as a location that had produced Palaeolithic finds prior to 1907 - (S6) being given as the principle source. Stalham is also listed in (S9), although this is simply a reference to (S8). This find is also noted in (S10) and (S11), although no additional information is given.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 5 June 2014.

1854. Casual find.
Two identical earthen urns were found in a field in Stalham traditionally known as 'The Bloody Field.' (3ft) high buff colour.
See drawing (S1, 155). It is not clear whether this is the counterpart to the urn depicted in (S1, 152) and the date is mislabelled on one of the drawings or whether this represents a completely separate find.
This drawing is also referenced in (S2).
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

1905. Casual Find.
A report in the EDP (S12) and The Standard (S13) probably refers to a Roman cremation cemetery in which the pots were broken by the plough and each one apparently contained ashes. Found on Stewards 8 Acres by tower drainage mill on Manor Farm (according to F. Durrell), a half mile on east side of Wayford Bridge. Several years before, a number of burial urns 'on rising ground '.
Note: F. Durrell in 1912 lived at Manor Farm, Smallburgh. W. Durrel in 1912 lived at Manor Farm, Stalham. (called Smallburgh but nothing to do with Anglo Saxon finds in 'The Burnt Field' 1856)
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

1987. Surface finds from field.
Flint blades, stone fragment
Roman, medieval, Late Saxon, and post medieval sherds.
See list in file.
A. Gregory (NAU) 15 September 1987.

Finder stated in 1997 that these (1987) finds really come from site NHER 13074.
However after this length of time there may be confusion and so they are entered under both sites.
E. Rose (NLA), 25 November 1997 - information from W. Milligan (NCM).

In 1999 finder stated they (1987 finds) came from site NHER 23726.

1996. West of sewage farm.
Two flint flakes and two pot boilers.
See report by P. Robins (NCM) 7 October 1996.
Two medieval unglazed sherds.
Post medieval double sided mould. Tapering bronze cylinder with hemispherical hollow at either end and remains of handle. For sweetmeats or musket balls?
W. Milligan (NCM) 11 February 1997.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CEMETERY (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CREMATION (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • HANDAXE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • POT BOILER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOULD (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Stalham.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: unknown. Dawson Turner Mss.. f.156. F152-F155.
<S2>Monograph: 1901. The Victoria History of Norfolk. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 1. p 321.
<S3>Publication: Rolfe. Norfolk Illustrations. f.1086.
<S4>Article in serial: 1831. A descriptive outline of the Roman remains in Norfolk, by Samuel Woodward, Esq., in a letter to Hudson Gurney, esq. V.P., F.R.S., accompanied by a map of the county. Archaeologia. vol XXIII, pp 358-373. p 373.
<S5>Serial: Woodward, S.. 1927. Woodward Papers.. Vol II, p 66.
<S6>Unpublished document: unknown. Dawson Turner Mss.. f.156. F. 156.
<S7>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S8>Article in serial: Clark, W. G. 1907. The Distribution of Flint and Bronze Implements in Norfolk. Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society. Vol VIII Pt III (for 1906-1907) pp 393-409.
<S9>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 35.
<S10>Unpublished document: Wessex Archaeology. 1997. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Region 8 (East Anglian Rivers) and 11 (Trent Drainage). B&A-1, No.3.
<S11>Website: TERPS online database. Site 22525.
<S12>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1905. Eastern Daily Press. 5 May.
<S13>Newspaper Article: The Standard. 1905. 16 May.

Related records - none

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