Record Details

NHER Number:1018
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmark hengiform monument

Summary

The site of a possible late Neolithic to early Bronze Age hengiform or funerary monument is visible on aerial photographs, located at the confluence of the River Wensum and a minor tributary. This site has previously been interpreted as a henge, a barrow and a prehistoric defended site.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 0964 1881
Map Sheet:TG01NE
Parish:GREAT WITCHINGHAM, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

1973. Aerial Photography.
A cropmark site of a possible henge monument, a double ditched enclosure containing within a number of other features (posts or pits). A. Lawson (NAU) says that while this could be a Dorchester type hengiform monument, it could also be a barrow, and should not be described other than 'double concentric ring ditch'. It is part of a complex including a rectangular feature to the east, possible old field boundaries, and to the southwest a circular cropmark transcribed by D. Edwards (NAU) with two parallel lines running south from it, though this is not visible in prints supplied.
E. Rose (NAU)

1978. Aerial Photo Transcription.
See (S1) for discussion and transcription of the cropmarks.
Copy of plot in file.

6 July 1994. NLA air photography (S2).
Numerous features are visible including a hengi-form double concentric ring ditch with internal features, multiple linear features and pit-like anomalies.
All as previously recorded.
M. Brennand (NLA), 23 February 2001.

19 June 1995. NLA air photography (S3).
Cropmarks of a hengiform monument are visible, although not especially clear. Not all of the ring ditch, pits and linears are showing as cropmarks.
S. Massey (NLA), 4 May 2001.

26 June 1996. NLA air photography (S4).
Cropmarks of Foxford Henge site showing faintly. The photographs also centre in on some irregular cropmarks to the north of the field although, apart from recent field boundaries, these appear to be geological in origin.
S. Massey (NLA), 24 September 2001.

The central grid reference of this site has been altered from TG 0961 1872 from TG 0964 1881.

November 2007. Norfolk NMP.
The site of a possible late Neolithic to early Bronze Age hengiform or funerary monument is visible on aerial photographs located at the confluence of the River Wensum and a minor tributary (S2-S6). This site has previously been interpreted as a henge, a barrow and a prehistoric defended site. Centred on TG 0964 1881, the monument is located within a wider spread of multi-phase and undated cropmarks (NHER 50710), some of which may be Roman in date, and a number of other, more broadly contemporary monuments of probable late Neolithic and early Bronze Age date. The latter include a large circular enclosure (NHER 50706) and a number ring ditches (NHER 50707-8) which are probably the remains of Bronze Age round barrows.

The site consists of a double concentric ring ditch that measures 18m internally and 26m externally (outer ditch). The ditches are between 1m and 2m across and have causeways or entrances to the north and east. Within the centre of the enclosure are nine large (up to 4m across) and amorphous shaped pits. These have previously been described as postholes, however the large and irregular shaped of most of the pits might make this interpretation unlikely unless a ramp had been constructed to aid the positing of a large post, similar to the features created for the large timbers set within Arminghall henge (NHER 6100) (S7). The pits are all located within the southern part of the enclosure. Possible traces of an internal bank or mound are visible as a slight parchmark on some of the earlier aerial photographs (S5). This could suggest that the monument is the remains of an elaborate barrow (as mentioned above). A similar parchmark is visible around the outside of the outer ditch. An outer bank is characteristic of henges and hengiform monuments. The causeways in the ditches may also represent the sorts of entrances that are again characteristic of hengiform monuments. The NMP mapping therefore may fit with the previous interpretations of this site as a Dorchester type hengiform monument. Possible areas of cropmark ‘disturbance’ are visible at the entrances on many of the aerial photographs (S2, S5-6). This may be due to a slight compacting the ground at the entrance or perhaps redeposited material from the levelling of the site from ploughing.

In a study of British henges by Harding and Lee (S8, p196) this site was dismissed as a henge and interpreted as a domestic or defensive site. Although the presence of internal pits could indicate settlement related activity, internal pits are also a common feature of henges and hengiform monuments (S8, p55). The recognition of the outer bank makes the defended site interpretation less likely and would lean more towards being a hengiform related site. The presence of other probable funerary and ceremonial monuments in close proximity (NHER 50706-8) would also indicate a probable ceremonial function.
Also see (S9)
S. Massey (NMP), 30 November 2007.

Monument Types

  • CIRCULAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • (Former Type) HENGE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • HENGIFORM MONUMENT? (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • CIRCULAR ENCLOSURE? (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2350 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • ROUND BARROW? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG0918 A-Q,X,Y,AB,ABA-ABE,ABG-ABM,ABQ.
---Archive: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. Tg 01 NE 22.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Witchingham (Great).
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Article in monograph: Edwards, D.. 1978. The Air Photographs Collection of the Norfolk Archaeological Unit: Third Report. East Anglian Archaeology. No 8 pp 87-105.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. NHER TG 0918ABS – ABY (NLA 341/HZL14-15, GZL4-6) 06-JUL-1994.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. NHER TG 0918ABZ - ACB (NLA 351/HBT1-3) 19-JUN-1995.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 0918ACC – ACK (NLA HKB25-HKC4) 26-JUN-1996.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1974. NHER TG 0918Wa-b (NLA 1/SLIDE) 07-JUN-1974.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 0918AC (NLA 52/AKF7) 30-JUL-1977.
<S7>Article in serial: Clark, G. 1936. The Timber Monument at Arminghall and its Affinities. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol II Pt 1 pp 1-51. pp 8-11.
<S8>Monograph: Harding, A. F. & Lee, G. E.. 1987. Henge Monuments and Related Sites of Great Britain: Air Photographic Evidence and Catalogue.. British Archaeological Report Series. Vol 175. p 196.
<S9>Article in serial: Horlock, S., Albone, J. and Tremlett, S. 2008. The Archaeology of Norfolk's Aggregate Landscape: Results of the National Mapping Programme. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt III pp 337-348.

Related records - none

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