Record Details

NHER Number:1009
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Early Saxon settlement

Summary

Excavation of this area from 1961 to 1973 recorded nine Early Saxon sunken-featured buildings. These had internal hearths, as well as one external hearth, a floor surface and a number of drainage ditches and soakaways to deal with rainwater. Pits were also discovered, along with iron working debris, crucibles, iron and copper alloy objects, jet, stone and green glass ornaments and spindle whorls, and many pottery sherds. A total of nine sunken featured buildings were identified, one of which dated to the fifth century and four to the sixth century. It is thought that the site represents a farm, rather than a village. Objects from the prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, medieval and post-medieval periods have also been recovered from this area.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 33 31
Map Sheet:TG33SW
Parish:WITTON, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

1956.
Trace of kiln with verified brick fragments, discovered by E. J. Owles.
Seen by R.R. Clarke. Noted in (S11).

1961-1962. Excavation.
Two Huts. OS field 68 and 75.
Of four early Anglo-Saxon huts of Sutton Courtenay type revealed by ploughing, two were excavated completely by E. J. Owles and J. E. Turner. Hut 11 was of irregular outline, c. 18 ft by 12 ft. There was a central hearth of quartzitic sandstone pebbles mixed with ash and charcoal. In the north-east corner there was a line, approximately 2 ft. long, of naturally-perforated beach flints presumably used as loom-weights. Many fragments of plain hand-made Anglo-Saxon pottery were found and some sherds of Roman wares as well as two spindle-whorls and many fragments of iron slag. Several post-holes were recorded. Hut IV was sub rectangular, c. 12 ft. by 10 ft., with an external hearth similar to that in hut 11. The filling contained many potsherds mainly undecorated, animal bones, iron slag, fired daub and a small iron knife (NCM).
Information from (S2).

1961. Non-Archaeological Excavation.
One Hut. OS Field 68.
An early Saxon sub-rectangular hut, 14 ft. by 12 ft., (termed Site 11, Hut I) examined by E. J. Owles and J. E. Turner yielded an internal hearth and the filling contained sherds of Saxon and Roman pottery, considerable quantities of iron slag, quartzitic sandstone and fired daub (NCM).
Information from (S2).

1962. Excavation.
OS Field 75.
Carried out by C.H. Lewton-Brain and assisted by C. Elwood, Two early Anglo-Saxon huts were excavated in 1962. Finds included plain and linear-decorated sherds, daub, spindle-whorls, metal objects, iron slag and some Romano-British pottery. Other huts may be indicated by crop-marks.
See drawing (S8).
Information from (S6).

1964. Excavation.
OS Field 75.
Excavation by B. Green, W.F. Milligan and G Rye on behalf of Norwich Castle Museum continued on the site of a Saxon hut. The hut was approximately 16ft, long by 10 ft wide with three deep post-holes at each end. The centre was filled with clay, some well-fired, some partially fired and some unfired, mixed with a little soil and containing charcoal, iron slag and pottery. Pottery from the lower part of the filling was homogeneous, but that from the upper IS it appears to have accumulated after the hollow had been partially filled in. Two iron-slag hearths 16 ft to the north and a hearth with sherds 25 ft to the south were also cleared.
Information from (S3).

1960s - 1970s. Stray finds.
Collected from ploughed soil.
Prehistoric, Neolithic (S9), Early Bronze Age Beaker, Iron Age, Roman, Early Saxon, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon, Medieval, Post-Medieval, miscellaneous finds, found by [1], and others.
See (S1) for further details.
Full details and excavation notes in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 April 1982.

1973. Excavation.
Early Saxon grubenhauser dug by K. Wade. OS fields 68 and 75.
On the north edge of the early Saxon settlement revealed four Grubenhduser, two of which had been previously excavated. Of the other two, one was very shallow and had no associated post-holes; the other was deeper and had three post-holes at each end. Both contained considerable quantities of plain hand-made pottery and metal slag, together with fragments of iron and bronze, clay spindle-whorls, and glass beads. A group of post-holes forming a rectangle with an entrance on its S. side, apparently contemporary with the Grubenhiiuser, is difficult to interpret. The wide spacing of the post-holes suggests some sort of animal pen rather than a roofed structure.
Information from (S7) see also (S1) and drawing (S10).

15 August 1995. NLA aerial photography.
Cropmarks are visible.
However, these seem to be in slightly different locations to the features previously sketched onto the NHER map.
The cropmarks to be seen from these photographs include three sides of a rectilinear enclosure, at least two linear features and at least one ring ditch [1].
This ring ditch appears to have an entrance to the southwest. It is hengiform in appearance.
There are possibly another two ring ditches, located a short distance to the southwest of the first [2], however the underlying geology is masking them to a certain extent.
(There may be further features, but due to the underlying geology this is hard to determine).
H. Clare (NLA), 5 July 2001.

January 2002. Metal detecting.
Field OS 68.
Two Roman coins.
Medieval coin.
Medieval sherds.
Medieval, post medieval and undatable metal finds.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 23 February 2002.

February 2005. Norfolk NMP.
All cropmarks previously recorded under this NHER number have been transferred to other numbers. The ring ditch cropmarks and their associated excavation (formerly NHER 1009 context 140) have been renumbered NHER 39221. A cropmark of a clay pit has been recorded with a previously recorded kiln as NHER 6986 (formerly NHER 1009 context 149) along with a pond (formerly NHER 1009 context 153). All other cropmarks previously recorded under NHER 1009 (principally context 154) have been moved to HER 13101 as none of these could be directly related to the excavated Anglo-Saxon or other features at the site.

The trench of the 1964 excavation of Structure H at the Anglo-Saxon site (S1) is still open and visible on 1965 aerial photographs (S5).
(S5)
J. Albone (NMP), 25 February 2005

Monument Types

  • BRICK KILN (Unknown date)
  • CLAY PIT (Unknown date)
  • BURNT MOUND (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • HENGIFORM MONUMENT? (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FURNACE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BLOOMERY (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GRUBENHAUS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • HEARTH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Unknown date)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT BOILER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • KNIFE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • LOOMWEIGHT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CAME (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WEIGHT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 33 SW 3 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Article in Serial: Healy, F. 1984. Recent Finds of Neolithic Bowl Pottery in Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXIX Pt I pp 65-82.
---Correspondence: Robins, P.. 1989. J.E Owles flint collection brought in to Castle Museum for identification.. 5 April.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Mesolithic. Witton.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Witton [3].
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Witton.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Witton.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Early Saxon. Witton [7].
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Witton.
---Article in Serial: 1963. Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk, 1961. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 14 (for 1961 and 1962) pp 1-3. p 3.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Miscellaneous. Witton [8]; Witton - NHER 7063.
<S1>Article in Serial: Lawson, A. J. 1983. The Archaeology of Witton, near North Walsham. East Anglian Archaeology. No 18.
<S2>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1964. Medieval Britain in 1961. Medieval Archaeology. Vol VI-VII (for 1962 and 1963) pp 306-349.
<S3>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1966. Medieval Britain in 1964. Medieval Archaeology. p 173.
<S4>Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1965. MAL 65080 166-7 19-SEP-1965 (NMR).
<S6>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 237.
<S7>Article in Serial: Webster, L. E. and Cherry, J. 1974. Medieval Britain in 1973. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XVIII pp 174-223. pp 181-182.
<S8>Illustration: Milligan, W. 1964. Drawing of a Roman pottery sherd. Card. 1:1.
<S9>Illustration: [Norwich Castle Museum staff]. 1964. Drawing of an Early Neolithic flint leaf arrowhead. Card. 1:1.
<S10>Illustration: [Unknown]. [Unknown]. Drawing of an Early Saxon pottery sherd. Paper. 1:1.
<S11>Serial: 1956. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries. No 3. p 5.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2020 Norfolk Historic Environment Service