Record Details

NHER Number:8842
Type of record:Monument
Name:Thuxton deserted medieval settlement

Summary

The deserted medieval village of Thuxton, or possibly Thurmanston. The village consisted of at least twenty nine tofts, visible from the air as earthworks. Excavations and ongoing investigation have revealed house platforms, two moated homesteads, cart tracks and courtyards; many medieval pottery fragments and metal objects have been found. The pottery finds have indicated that the main period of occupation of the village was from the 13th century, but a stray Saxon brooch indicates some pre Conquest activity in the area. One intriguing find was a collection of horse skulls grouped at the entrance to an outbuilding, possibly evidence for protective magic. The excavated settlement was probably deserted in the 15th century when many other villages on the boulder clay uplands were also in decline.
All the fields which once contained well-preserved earthworks of the village and the moated sites, exept for one small piece near Rookery Farm, have been largely destroyed by ploughing and cultivation.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 0402 0792
Map Sheet:TG00NW
Parish:GARVESTONE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
THUXTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

1960. Moat and earthworks discovered.
1961. Medieval sherd found.
1962. Ploughed out. Medieval sherds, etc., found.

1963. Excavated.
Excavation on two house sites was carried out by P. Wade-Martins; this site had previously been disturbed by ploughing.
The first site, a house was recorded and defined by a clay floor and measured 47ft long by 20ft wide. Only 16ft of the east wall and the south-east corner survived. The wall consisted of large flint and sandstone erratic boulders and was 2ft wide. A lot of the house had been damaged in some way, the south wall was destroyed by digging of a drain and the north section of the house was damaged by ploughing and bulldozing. A hearth of burnt clay which measured 2ft in diameter was also noted; pottery recovered suggests that this site was of 13th century occupation. A succession of five ditches was also recorded; they cut into each other and lay along the west edge of the house.
The second site is shown to have three phases which were partially excavated there is an area of flint cobbles which lay at right angles to the village street and above a ditch and pit, green-grazed pottery dated to the 13th century was found from this level. A ditch runs along the west side of the cobbled area and is suggested to have continued in use into the third phase. This is represented by a clay floor; there was a post-hole in the middle of the east end but a corresponding post-hole in the west end was not found. This phase has been dated to the 13th century.

1964. Excavation.
Further excavation of house sites was carried out by L.A.S. Butler for the M.P.B.W and Norfolk Research Committee. The main occupation for this site was found to be c, 1250-1350. A croft 136 ft. wide and the village street adjoining the croft to the south were also examined. The southern half of the croft contained building which is surrounded by a cobbled yard. On the other side of the yard there were half timbered structures that had clay and chalk walls. The posts which support which are in both houses and the sheds show evidence of renewal or replacement and three phases in the latest period of occupation. The material found on this site is now being held in (NCM).
See (S4) and (S5) for further information.
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 15 April 2013.

1975. Bronze Age spearhead (S8).
1984. Pottery finds and carved stone.
1986. Medieval sherds found.
1989. Medieval and post medieval metalwork found.

See details in File.
E. Rose (NLA), 13 May 1998

See (S2) for report on these excavations, which also discusses whether the site is Thuxton or Thurstanton village, adjacent settlements in the Domesday Book, and includes ritual deposit of horse skulls.
E. Rose (NAU), 22 January 1990.
For parallels to horse skulls, see reference (S3).

18 July 1996. NLA air photography.
Road and enclosure visible.
M. Brennand (NLA), 3 December 2001.

July 2001.
Visited area of site within the ownership of [1], after neighbour had alerted H. Paterson (A&E) that 'works' were being carried out in the grounds of Rookery Villa. Medium sized trees and scrub were being removed from the moated area and the land to the south.
The whole of this area has been much disturbed over many decades by the family of ducks and geese and the attendant erection of ancillary buildings. Silt is being removed from the disturbed/altered moat and used to fill two modern drained ponds.
Replanting will take place, and moated area will be landscaped.
H. Paterson (A & E), 12 July 2001.

April 2004.
As part of a Stewardship Agreement, post and rail fencing has been erected across the earthworks east of Rookery Farm. This was not monitored as the RDS officer omitted to inform H. Paterson (A&E) prior to the work commencing. The posts were rammed in and no excavation for gate posts was undertaken. The owner did not encounter and resistance which could have indicated below-ground solid structures.
H. Paterson (A&E), 4 May 2004.

1994 to 2004. Fieldwalking.
Surface collection within moated island centred at TG 0452 0816, more than fourteen hundred medieval sherds and only six post medieval.
Medieval metal and stone objects.
See lists and finders' note in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 20 October 2004.

Early 1990s to 2004. In area centred TG 0425 0804.
Two Prehistoric worked flints.
Four Roman sherds, many medieval and some post medieval sherds.
Medieval querns, hones, and a few pieces of metalwork.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 3 December 2004.

Before 9 May 2007. Fieldwalking
Limestone mortar fragment and piece of ashlar on moated island.
See list in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 9 May 2007. 3.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOFT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SPEAR (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARROWHEAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUTTON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CAULDRON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DRESS COMPONENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FERRULE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HORSESHOE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • KEY (LOCKING) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • KNIFE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MIRROR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MORTAR (VESSEL) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIPKIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SPADE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STUD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • VESSEL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LATCHLIFTER (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PADLOCK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: XV1 to XX111.
---Aerial Photograph: TG 0407A-F; TG0408 ADN-ADQ; TG0307ACF-ACL, OS 73.240.144,.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 0307ACS - ADE.
---Unpublished document: H. Paterson (A&E), MPP. Section 17 Management Agreement.
---Monograph: Ashley, S.. 2002. Medieval Armorial Horse Furniture in Norfolk.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 101.
---Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A.. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 104. p 73.
---Archive: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Early Saxon. Garvestone.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Garveston [6].
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Newspaper Article: 1964. Eastern Daily Press. 29 September.
<S2>Monograph: Wade-Martins, P. & Butler, L.. 1989. The Deserted Village of Thuxton.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 46.
<S3>Article in serial: Moore-Colyer, H.. 1994. Horses in Prehistory.. Archaeological Journal. Vol 151.
<S4>Article in serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1965. Medieval Britain in 1962 and 1963. Medieval Archaeology. Vol VIII (for 1964) pp 231-299. p 286.
<S5>Article in serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1966. Medieval Britain in 1964. Medieval Archaeology. Vol IX (for 1965) pp 170-220. p214.
<S6>Illustration: Unknown. 1963. Drawing of an Early Saxon cruciform brooch head plate.. Card. 1:1.
<S7>Illustration: Unknown. 1963. Drawing of an Early Saxon cruciform brooch.. Film. 1:1.
<S8>Illustration: Ashley, S.. 1998. Drawing of a Middle Bronze Age spearhead.. Film. 1:1.

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