Record Details

NHER Number:11676
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late prehistoric multiple ditch system cropmarks


Cropmarks of a multiple ditch system of probable Bronze Age to Iron Age date are visible on aerial photographs. Three parallel ditches are present on a northwest to southeast alignment forming a boundary between the River Waveney and a large pond called The Lay. The broad outer ditches of the system are continuous apart from an entrance part way along one side. The narrower central ditch is intermittent. It is possible that this ditch system continues to the north of The Lay as NHER 43728. Other cropmarks of ring ditches and linear features, and the possible site of a medieval manor house, which were previously included under this number are now recorded separately as NHER 43611-4 and 44457.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 3071 8793
Map Sheet:TM38NW

Full description

1975. NAU air photography
Southeast of The Lay.
Two ring ditches and three others, also linear features.
E. Rose (NAU), 19 October 1976.

April 2006. Norfolk NMP.
Cropmarks of a multiple ditch system of possible Bronze Age to Iron Age date are visible on aerial photographs (S1-S11). Cropmarks of ring ditches and other linear features, and the possible site of a medieval manor house, which were previously included under this number are now recorded separately (NHER 43611-4, 44457). As a result of these changes the central grid reference for this record has been amended from TM 30 87 to TM 3070 8795. Cropmarks of three parallel curvilinear ditches are present. These extend for 305m on a roughly northwest to southeast alignment between TM 3056 8804 to TM 3080 8784. The outer ditches are up to 5m wide and are mostly continuous for the visible length of the cropmarks. A deliberate gap is present in the northeastern outer ditch at TM 3068 8798. This gap measures 8m across and is likely to be a deliberate entrance into the inner area of the ditches. The central ditch is intermittent and measures up to 2m wide. Nine separate sections are visible along the length of the cropmarks varying from 3m to 28m in length. The northwestern extent of these cropmarks is formed by a large pond called The Lay, which may be of natural origin (NHER 11114). The three ditches in this system appear to curve as they approach this pond. It is possible that fragmentary curvilinear ditch cropmarks on the north side of The Lay may represent a continuation of this multiple ditch system (NHER 43628). However, those cropmarks are too limited in extent for this to be certain. To the southeast the main cropmarks of the multiple ditch system stop at the edge of the arable field, where they are cut by a former railway siding (NHER 43546). However, one set of aerial photographs (S5) appears to show cropmarks of the outer ditches continuing to the southeast of the modern road towards the River Waveney. The river would have formed a major landscape boundary in the late prehistoric period and it is likely that the multiple ditch system stopped at this point. Multiple ditch systems of this type are known from both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (S13-S14) where they are dated to the Bronze Age to Iron Age periods. These landscape boundaries are rare in East Anglia with only a few convincing examples recorded in Norfolk (NHER 31746). The relationship of this boundary to the adjacent cropmarks is interesting. Cropmarks of ring ditches forming a dispersed Bronze Age barrow cemetery (NHER 43610-2, 43538-40) are present on both sides of the ditch system. It is possible that the ditch system cut across an existing barrow cemetery, or that the barrows were deliberately placed in close proximity to it. The relationship between the multiple ditch system and fragmentary field system cropmarks present to its southwest and northeast is unknown (NHER 43613, 43541). The ditch system cropmarks are overlain by cropmarks of post medieval field boundaries, which were not mapped.
J. Albone (NMP), 05 May 2006

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • MULTIPLE DITCH SYSTEM (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2350 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 38 NW 26.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Unpublished Document: Edwards, D. (NAU). 1977. Plan.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TM 3087H (NLA 44/AHQ13) 06-JUL-1977.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TM 3087J-M (NLA 47/AJH4-7) 21-JUL-1977.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TM 3087N-S (NLA 44/AHQ8-10, 14-5) 06-JUL-1977.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1982. NHER TM 3087V-AC (NLA 124/ARX1-8) 30-JUN-1982.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1970. CUCAP (BCB51-3) 16-JUN-1970.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1971. CUCAP (BFR63-70) 02-JUL-1971.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1971. CUCAP (BGS40-3) 22-JUL-1971.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1977. CUCAP (CCR30-32) 13-JUL-1977.
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1978. CUCAP (CGE62-6) 03-JUL-1978.
<S10>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1979. CUCAP (CJB40-6) 02-JUL-1979.
<S11>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1989. CUCAP (CRG25-30) 28-JUN-1989.
<S12>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.
<S13>Monograph: Stoertz, C.. 1997. Ancient Landscapes of the Yorkshire Wolds.. RCHME Report.
<S14>Article in Monograph: Boutwood, Y.. 1998. Prehistoric Linear Boundaries in Lincolnshire and its Fringes.. Lincolnshire's Archaeology from the Air. Bewley, R.H. (ed.). pp 29-46.

Related records - none

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