Record Details

NHER Number:9592
Type of record:Monument
Name:The Trowse Barrow

Summary

The site of a Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age barrow that was first discovered from aerial photographs in 1929. Rescue excavations were undertaken in 1958 and 1959, prior to the destruction of the barrow and minor additional excavations were undertaken in 1967. It appears that this was probably a bell barrow, with a bank between its two concentretic ditches and a mound placed eccentrically within the internal ditch. Several pits found beneath the mound were interpreteted as graves, although no trace of the original inhumations survived due to the acidic conditions. These features produced sherds of Beaker pottery and radiocarbon determinations were obtained from the remains of burnt timbers. This site is likely to be related to a ring ditch and flint working site just 25m to the southeast (NHER 9605), and the more famous Arminghall Henge (NHER 6100), 250m to the southwest.

There was also evidence for medieval activity at this location, with the presence of structural features and a range of finds suggesting this had been some form of occupation site. Other finds recovered included Mesolithic and Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age worked flints and Iron Age, Roman and post-medieval pottery.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2416 0619
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:TROWSE WITH NEWTON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

1929.
Barrow discovered from R.A.F vertical aerial photograph (S1). Visible as two concentric cropmark ring-ditches. The barrow was subsequently sheduled as an ancient monument, but unfortunately the location defined in the schedule was slightly to the south-west of the barrow's actual location.

1958-1959 and 1967. Rescue excavation.
In March 1953 R. R. Clarke observed that the access road for a new electricity sub-station had been excavated through the barrow. He conducted a rescue excavation in April 1958 (Cuttings A-E) and further limited excavation was undertaken in 1959 (Cuttings F-J). Further observations were made in 1960 when the mound was levelled prior to the construction of an office block and a final small-scale excavation was undertaken by K. Wade in 1967 (Cuttings K-L). This work took place in unfavourable conditions and it was only possible to excavate approximately 14% of the area defined by the outer ditch. The site was published in 1982 (S2) - this report was based on finds and site records held by the Norwich Castle Museum.

Sections were dug through the outer and the inner ditches, both of which had gently sloping profiles. A possibly heath was identified in one of the cuttings through the inner ditch, overlying the primary fill. The nature of the fills within the inner ditch suggested that a bank had lain between the ditches. Sections through the mound revealed that the barrow had been built on a natural knoll and that the mound had probably been eccentric to the inner ditch. No surviving mound structure was observed. Based on this evidence it was though likely that this had been a bell barrow. Four pits were interpreted as inhumation graves, the original burials having disappeared due to the acidic conditions. At least two of these pits contained evidence for the deposition of burnt or burning timbers over the grave fills. Beaker pottery sherds were recovered from the pits and the carbonised timbers produced radiocarbon determinations of 1860 +/-80 BC and 1600 +/-70 BC. No datable finds likely to be contemporary with the barrow were recovered from either of the ditches.

There was also evidence for medieval activity on the site, represented by an earth floor, at least one post-hole, a pit and undefined "excavations". This evidence, coupled with the presence of pottery, lava quern and building material suggests that this had been some form of occupation site. A large angular post-medieval feature was interpreted as the work of earlier barrow-diggers.

The finds recovered during this excavation included:
69 undatable prehistoric flint flakes and 1 flint 'chunk'.
1 Mesolithic flint microlith (obliquely blunted point), 2 blade cores and several small fine blades.
1 undatable late prehistoric pottery sherd (originally dated as Iron Age).
31 Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Beaker pottery sherds, 1 complete Beaker pottery vessel, 1 indet. Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age pottery sherd, 1flint piercer, 1 scraper, 2 retouched flakesand 1 grooved piece of sandstone.
4 Iron Age pottery sherds.
6 Roman pottery sherds, 1 tegula fragment and 4 floor tile/thin brick fragments.
1 Late Saxon pottery sherd.
184 medieval pottery sherds, 4 roof tile fragments, 1 possible hone stone, 2 slag fragments and 7 lava quern fragments.
13 medieval/post-medieval animal bone fragments.
19 post-medieval pottery sherds.
The finds from Clarke's excavations are held by the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1958.203), which aslo hold the finds from the work undertaken in 1967 (NWHCM : 1967.847).

See published report (S2) for full details and file for copies of R. R. Clarke's site records, draft text and correspondence regarding the site and its publication. See also interim reports (S3) (S4) and NCM record cards (S5)-(S9). The Mesolithic finds are listed in (S10) and the microlith is noted in (S11). The later prehistoric evidence from the site is discussed in (S12).
E. Rose (NAU), 7 June 1982. Amended and expanded by P. Watkins (HES), 22

July 2010. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks relating to the late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age barrow with two concentric ring ditches previously excavated at this site are visible on aerial photographs (S13-S14). The site is centred on TG 2416 0619. Another barrow also consisting of concentric ring ditches is located to the immediate east (NHER 52334) and both monuments are located approximately 215m to the northeast from the major henge monument at Arminghall (NHER 6100). This barrow appears to have been constructed to form a linear arrangement with the Arminghall henge and another hengiform monument at Markshall (NHER 9582).
The cropmarks reveal two concentric ring ditches, the inner one appearing to be penannular and slightly sub-circular. However there is some indication on some of the aerial photographs (S14-S15) that the inner ditch may continue southwards beyond its apparent terminus. Only on the 1929 aerial photograph (S13) does it appear to be continuous, and as this photograph is relatively unclear the terminus apparent in 1935 (S14) and published in the excavation reports (S2) has been mapped.
Faint cropmarks within the central area may relate to additional components to this barrow, which may itself represent several phases of barrow construction, although it is possible that some features relate to the later occupation on the site in the late eleventh or twelfth century AD (S2). A large pit-like feature mapped within the concentric ring ditches may correspond with floor associated with this later phase recorded within the excavations (S2).
S. Horlock (NMP), 01 July 2010.

Monument Types

  • FLOOR (Unknown date)
  • HEARTH (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • RING DITCH (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • PIT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 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

  • DEBITAGE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SHARPENER? (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BORER (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEGULA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SLAG (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • SLAG (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • WHETSTONE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG2406/E, AG.
---Aerial Photograph: 1935. N and N Aero Club.
---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Aerial Photograph: 1929. Royal Aeronautical Soc..
<S2>Article in monograph: Healy, F. 1982. A Round Barrow at Trowse: Early Bronze Age Burials and Medieval Occupation. Trowse, Horning, Deserted Medieval Villages. East Anglian Arch. No 14. pp 1-34.
<S3>Article in serial: 1959. Norfolk Research Committee Excavations 1958. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 11 (for 1958) p 1.
<S4>Article in serial: 1960. Norfolk Research Committee Excavations 1959. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 12 (for 1959) p 1. Trowse with Newton.
<S5>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Mesolithic.
<S6>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Trowse with Newton.
<S7>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Trowse with Newton.
<S8>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Iron Age. Trowse.
<S9>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Trowse with Newton.
<S10>Monograph: Wymer, J. J. and Bonsall, C. J. (eds). 1977. Gazetteer of Mesolithic Sites in England and Wales with a Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic Sites in England and Wales. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. No. 20. p 214.
<S11>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 10388.
<S12>Thesis: Garrow, D.. 2006. Pits, Settlement and Deposition during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in East Anglia. during the Neolithic and Early Pits, Settlement and Deposition during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in East Anglia.
<S13>Oblique Aerial Photograph: NMR. 1929. NMR TG 2406/1 (CCC 8926/1865) 18-JUN-1929.
<S14>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Norfolk and Norwich Aeroclub Ltd. 1935. NHER TG 2406AP (NNAC 870) XX-XXX-1935.
<S15>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 58/700 (Vp6) 5078-9 31-MAY-1951 (NMR).

Related records - none

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