Record Details

NHER Number:1398
Type of record:Monument
Name:The Icknield Way

Summary

A possible prehistoric trackway that is thought to have linked Norfolk to southern England. The Norfolk section ran from Thetford north to the sea, somewhere in the vicinity of Hunstanton and Holme next the Sea. Evidence of its existence is fragmentary and the subject of long standing discussion. The trackway may have been a series of shorter linked routes. Some doubt has recently been cast upon its possibly prehistoric origins.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 7858 1039
Map Sheet:TF71SE
Parish:CONGHAM, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
CROXTON, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
HILLINGTON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
LYNFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
STANFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Prehistoric trackway reused as Roman road and medieval drove.
For details and course see file (includes excavations in East Walton 1979).
E. Rose (NAU).

February 1999. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks associated with construction of car park and footpath extension at Nun's Bridge, Thetford.
No finds or features of archaeological interest were recorded.
No report was produced but the archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2018.212).
C. F. Meckseper (NAU) 22 May 2000. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 February 2017 and 27 April 2019.

2000-2002. Woodland Earthwork Rapid Identification Survey.
Management Unit N, Site 154:
Earthwork features potentially associated with line of Icknield Way recorded in Stanford parish.
See report (S3) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S4).
D. Gurney (NLA), 12 March 2002. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 13 May 2015.

A large linear earthwork has been mapped running through Hunstanton Park from TF 69629 40740 to TF 69112 41413 (see NHER 26941). It has the appearance of a medieval hollow way and appears to be aligned along the parish boundary. The suggested route of the Icknield Way reaches Hunstanton at this parish boundary, after which the line is not known. It is a possibility that this earthwork and cropmark marks the line of the prehistoric route, which was subsequently reused until the emparkment of the area in the late fifteenth century.
S. Massey (NMP) 26 August 2003.

(S2) suggests the Icknield Way never existed and is a medieval myth, but the detailed discussion does not include the Norfolk section.
E. Rose (NLA) 23 November 2004.

October 2010. Norfolk NMP.
A large linear earthwork has been mapped running along the eastern edge of West Tofts Heath, Lynford, from TL 8551 8941 to TL 8516 9069 (see NHER 54507). It has the appearance of a medieval hollow way and appears to be aligned along the parish boundary. The suggested route of the Icknield Way follows this route through Lynford for a time, after which the line is not known. It is a possibility that this earthwork marks the line of the prehistoric route, which was subsequently reused, perhaps even until relatively recently as a trackway.
E. Bales (NMP), 18 Oct 2010.

Monument Types

  • HEARTH (Unknown date)
  • MOUND (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FORD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLLOW WAY? (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • TRACKWAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT BOILER (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • SHINE
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Tingey, J. C. 1901. On the Course of the Ickneild Way through Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XIV pp 135-152.
---Aerial Photograph: TL8496C-E, (TL8496C-E,J-L,R,V,W, TL9195A-E.) Restricted.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TL 88 SE M.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Article in Serial: Edwards, W. F. 1964. The Line of the Icknield Way. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 15 (for 1963) p 6.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: 1951. Letters to the editor on The Icknield Way.
---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. Narford.
<S1>Publication: Clarke, W.. 1924. The Icknield Way: Suggested Norfolk Course.
<S2>Article in Serial: Harrison, S.. 2003. The Icknield Way, Some Queries.. Archaeol. J.. Vol 160. pp 1ff.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Cushion, B. 2002. STANTA ILMP Woodland Earthwork Rapid Identification Survey. Brian Cushion Archaeological & Cartographical Surveyor.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2002. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2001. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt I pp 162-177. p 175.

Related records

61561Parent of: Undated bank, possibly part of the Icknield Way (Monument)

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