Record Details

NHER Number:1788
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible Roman mound and undated rectangular enclosure

Summary

A possible Roman period mound surrounded by an undated triple ditched rectangular enclosure are visible as an earthwork and cropmarks on aerial photographs of this area. The mound was excavated in 1862 and was recorded as having a central Roman structure.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 8528 4264
Map Sheet:TF84SE
Parish:BURNHAM THORPE, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Tumulus about 3 to 4.5m (10 to 15 feet) high, southwest of Leath House (derelict farm and cottage) in flat meadow.

1862.
Excavated 1862 by Earl of Orford who found central structure roofed with Roman tile, and pottery called Roman (now lost - not verifiable).
Information from [1]. Possibly published in (S2). See details in file.

1934.
Bowl, no visible ditch. Under grass.

1974.
A. J. Lawson (NAU), noted square ditches around barrow on RAF aerial photograph. Like those seen at Rudston.

22 July 1974. Visit.
Cutting of pipe trenches near mound. 1.5m (5 feet) deep 1.8m (6 feet) wide. Only features visible on upcast was slight change in soil colour, perhaps due to ditches? No finds except clay pipe fragments. Only section of trench seen open was 90cm (3 feet) deep and revealed only topsoil (!) Labourers said no finds or features encountered. Farm manager said in thirty years of working on that field he had found nothing. Under wheat 1974.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) after report by D. Edwards (NAU) from air.
E. Rose (NAU).

See plot out in file by H. Bamford (HBMC) showing accurate position of mound with shadow possibly indicating quadrant removed for Orford excavation, and cropmarks of ditches.

1995.
Scheduled area extended to take in cropmarks of ditches.

2000. Field Observation and Desk-based Assessment.
Site examined and considered in detail as part of archaeological assessment of Holkham Estate.
Grassy orchard, with rows of small fruit trees. Grass cut regularly.
See report (S3) for further details.

P. Watkins (HES), 22 April 2015.
May 2002. Norfolk NMP.
The mound is circular in plan, and although much denuded, still appears to have a diameter of 35m (S1). Earlier field observations place the diameter at nearer 70m. There is, unusually, no clearly defined circular ditch visible around the mound. The mound is surrounded by a triple ditched square or rectangular enclosure. Three equidistantly spaced ditches are visible on the southern and eastern sides of the mound, and two ditches on the northern side. There are no ditches visible on the western side of the mound, where they are probably obscured beneath a field boundary. There are also single ditches visible within the field, to the east and south, probably representing drains or field boundary features.
The mound is suspected of being a Roman barrow, based on the evidence recovered during a mid 19th century excavation. The very brief excavation report gives no details of stratigraphy, or the make up materials within the mound. There was an alleged Roman period structure within the mound, although it is not clear whether this was inserted into or covered over by the mound. There is a record of burning, but not of human remains. There is nothing to suggest that the ditches and the mound, if it is not natural, are contemporary, although the ditches would have provided a quarry source for the mound. The multi ditched enclosure has parallels in Snettisham, Sedgeford and at Fison Way, Thetford, but none of these have mounds constructed within them. This seems likely to be a funerary monument, although it is not certain. The barrow mound may have been constructed within a pre existing multi-ditched enclosure, or the two may be contemporary. Or the ditches may predate the mound
M. Brennand (NMP), 10 May 2002.

Monument Types

  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOUND (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROUND BARROW (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SQUARE BARROW (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TOMB (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF. RAF 7 June 1946 no. 3023Y.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF163.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 84 SE 2 [3].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Lawson, A. J., Martin, E., Priddy, D. and Taylor, A. 1981. The Barrows of East Anglia. East Anglian Archaeology. No 12.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Burnham Thorpe.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: CXR17,EME11-12.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF163.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF163.
<S1>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3021 07-JUN-1946 (TF 8542B).
<S2>Newspaper Article: Norwich Mercury. [unknown].
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Penn, K. 2000. The Holkham Estate, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Archaeological Survey (Final Report). Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 532.

Related records - none

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