Record Details

NHER Number:28127
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Middle Saxon market and settlement and multi-period finds

Summary

Metal detecting and fieldwalking have recovered pottery dating from the Iron Age to the post medieval periods, Roman and Late Saxon coins, and metalwork dating from the Roman to the post medieval period, including brooches, buckles and strap fittings. The amount of Middle Saxon pottery, and high quality metalwork recovered from this site and from NHER 18496 suggest that it is part of an important market or ‘productive site’. This area may have been the original focus of settlement in the area, with the present settlement of Burnham Market developing from the Late Saxon period.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TF84SW
Parish:BURNHAM MARKET, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
BURNHAM THORPE, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

This record contains finds previously recorded under other NHER numbers [1].

Early 1985. In area around ring ditch [2], roughly 50m across. Surface finds in ploughed field.
2 sherds sandy Ipswich Ware, six sherds Thetford-type ware, including 2 rims and one base.
Identified A. Rogerson (NAU)
A. K. Gregory (NAU) 21 October 1985.

1989 (or before). Fieldwalking by [3]'s students in [4].
1 sherd pimply Ipswich, and one burnt perhaps same.
1 handle probable Middle Saxon, probably an import.
Informant [2] reports strap handle of north French blackware, with well defined grooves rather than S shaped.
Similar to sherd from Ipswich Shirehall Yard (SAU Context No.6904, 00600042) which was from late 9th century context, and also similar to Norfolk sites NHER 18176 and NHER 18177 handle sherds.
2 St Neots ware, 2 Thetford type ware.
2 medieval unglazed, 1 post medieval green glazed.
Identified A. Rogerson (NAU) July 1989.

1989. Fieldwalking on site [5].
Thetford type sherds, 4 glazed Grimston, 2 medieval unglazed, 1 undated handmade shelly rim, and 3 fragments of daub with withy impressions.
Identified A. Rogerson (NAU).
E. Rose (NAU) 28 July 1989.

Early 1991. Large scatter site, field containing other NHER sites [6]. Found with metal detecting and in fieldwalking.
Iron Age, Roman, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon and medieval sherds.
Roman and Late Saxon coins.
Iron Age, Roman, Early Saxon (S8), Early/Middle Saxon (S4, S5 and S7) Middle Saxon (S6 and S9), Late Saxon and medieval metalwork.
See full lists in file.
Plan in file.
A. Rogerson (NAU) 26 March 1991.

1991. Metal detecting finds.
Roman, Late Saxon and medieval metalwork.
See file for details
A. Rogerson (NAU) 2 September 1991

For details of peat and pollen analysis of adjacent land see (S1).

Before 11 February 2005. Metal detecting.
Two Roman coins (but not Roman, almost certainly modern losses).
Early Saxon brooch.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 20 July 2005.

In the 8th century ‘rural centres’, located in the coastal zones or close to important communication routes, appear to have coexisted with high status ‘Emporia’ or gateway settlements where craft products were manufactured and exchanged for luxury items. The Early Saxon material from this site is predominantly cemetery-related and is widespread from the 5th century onwards and there is abundant evidence around the site, with an additional shorter-lived focus 500m to the west. It is possible that prehistoric barrows may have provided a pre-existing context for burials and these burial grounds would have created a significant focal point in the landscape. Activity may have also been encouraged by the pre-existence of a north-south aligned Romano-British routeway to the east (NHER 1791) and the landing place provided by the confluence of the Goose Beck and River Burn. This would have created an ideal landing and trading site and might have acted as a social ‘magnet’ for a significant Middle Saxon site. Concentrations of Middle Saxon coinage and metalwork loss abutting the waterfront also lend support to this interpretation.

Early Saxon pottery and geophysical anomalies possibly indicate ‘Sunken Feature Buildings’ south of Goose Beck, spatially removed from the cemetery evidence to the southwest, which could indicate an Early Saxon settlement focus. These features closely correlate with the observed Middle Saxon metalwork/pottery scatter in this area, indicating that there might be land-use continuities between the Early and Middle Saxon periods. Fieldwalking, geophysical survey and detailed plotting of metal finds has enabled us to place the trade and exchange evidence within a more fully characterised Middle to Late Saxon activity focus, with areas of permanent settlement indicated from the Middle Saxon period until the 12th century. Fieldwalking south of the Goose Beck identified an intense area of Middle to Late Saxon pottery indicative of a settlement zone, as well as a less intense pottery scatter, indicative of agricultural cultivation. It is uncertain whether the trade/exchange focus indicated by Middle Saxon metalwork north of the Beck relates to the geophysical features of the probable manorial focus, and elite control, from the outset. An alternative hypothesis is that this started as an unregulated site of exchange that then acquires a controlling focus. This seems an important question as the site then fails to develop into a prominent Late Saxon focus of trade/exchange. Leaving aside the possibility that the settlement failed to develop because of environmental changes, like the river channel silting-up, as at Ulph Place (NHER 34581), the nature of both the settlement and control of exchange may have played an important role in this apparent decline.
See (S2).
S. Howard (HES), 4 November 2011.p

Monument Types

  • GRUBENHAUS (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • MARKET (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • PORT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Undated)
  • POT (Unknown date)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GIRDLE HANGER (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • BROOCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DRESS COMPONENT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • VESSEL (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CAULDRON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FURNITURE FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOKEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Ashley, S. and Rogerson, A. 1992. Three Radiate Brooches and a Small-Long Brooch from Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt III pp 361-362.
---Photograph: NLA. Finds Photograph.
---Article in Monograph: Rogerson, A.. 2003. Six Middle Anglo-Saxon Sites in West Norfolk.. Markets in Early Medieval Europe: Trading and ' Productive' Sites, 650-850. Pestell, T. & Ulmschneider, K. (ed.).
---Photograph: 1992. LBK 3-4, Two Ipswich sherds..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 6-7, Early Saxon brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 8-9, Late Saxon brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 10-12, Early/Middle Saxon disc brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 13-14, Middle/Late borre style brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 15-16, Medieval arabic dirhan coin..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 17-18, Middle Saxon ansate brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 19-20, Silver decorative fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 21-22, Middle/Late Saxon borre disc brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 23-24, Openwork mount..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 25-26, Early/Middle Saxon gilded mount with garnet..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 27, Saxon cruciform brooch knob..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 28-30, Early Saxon radiate brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 31-32, Middle Saxon pin..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 33-34, Late Saxon brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBS 35, Possible terret fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 1, Possible terret fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 2-3, Middle Saxon brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 4-5, Girdle hanger fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 6-7, Disc brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 8, Saxon cruciform brooch knob..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 9-11, Saxon cruciform brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 12-13, Middle/Late Saxon small long brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 14-15, Two Early Saxon buckles..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 16-17, Late Saxon buckle fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 20-21, Late Saxon strap end..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 22-24, Late Saxon strap end..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 25-26, Saxon girdle hanger fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBT 27-32, Saxon cruciform brooch fragment..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: FNW1-4.
<S1>Publication: Roy, H.. 1995. Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of a Mire at Burnham Overy..
<S2>Thesis: Davies, G.. 2010. Settlement, economy and lifestyle: The changing social identities of the coastal settlements of West Norfolk, 450-1100 AD.. pp 320-321.
<S3>Article in Serial: Davies, G. 2010. Early medieval 'rural centres' and West Norfolk: a growing picture of diversity, complexity and changing lifestyles. Medieval Archaeology. Vol LIV pp 89-122. pp 111-113.
<S4>Illustration: Hoyle, M.. 1991. Drawing of an Early/Middle Saxon equal arm brooch.. Film. 2:1.
<S5>Illustration: Hoyle, M.. 1991. Drawing of an Early/Middle Saxon disc. Film. 2:1.
<S6>Illustration: Hoyle, M.. 1991. Drawing of a Middle Saxon ansate brooch.. Film. 2:1.
<S7>Illustration: Hoyle, M.. 1991. Drawing of an Early/Middle Saxon guilded mount.. Film. 2:1.
<S8>Illustration: Ashley, S.. 1991. Drawing of the head plate and upper bow of an Early Saxon radiate brooch.. Film. 2:1.
<S9>Illustration: Hoyle, M.. 1991. Drawing of a Middle Saxon ansate brooch. Film. 2:1.

Related records

18496Related to: Site of Middle Saxon market and settlement (Monument)

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