Record Details

NHER Number:2984
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman parade helmet and visor, Roman bridge and possible medieval watermill

Summary

Between 1947 and 1950 a Roman parade helmet, the visor from a second Roman parade helmet, the remains of a Roman bridge and a possible medieval watermill were discovered during dredging of the River Wensum. Both the helmet and the visor were made from brass and are elaborately decorated. The thinness of the metal suggests that they were used during parades, sports or exercises. The decoration and shape suggests that they could date from the 2nd half of the 3rd century AD. The Roman bridge comprised a series of oak piles, two of which were felled in the first half of the 2nd century AD. Medieval pottery, floor tile and mortared flints were also discovered and probably came from a medieval watermill.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 007 195
Map Sheet:TG01NW
Parish:HOE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

August 1947. Found while dredging.
Traces of a Roman bridge and medieval watermill. The Roman bridge comprised a series of oak piles. The timbers were poorly preserved but dendrochronology suggested that two were felled around 120/130 AD.
R.R. Clarke (NCM) suggested that a western channel was dug during medieval times as a mill stream. Medieval pottery, 13th to 14th century floor tile and mortared flints were discovered, probably from a medieval watermill on this site.
Information from (S1).
Roman helmet found, also sherds and bones. The helmet is made of brass with traces of gilding. Decoration includes sea dragons, snakes and a crest ending in an eagle's beak. 'XII' is scratched on the upper surface of the neckguard - this suggests it belonged to turma XII, a unit of cavalry. The metal is thin, which suggests it was used during sports or exercises. The decoration and shape suggest it dates from the 2nd half of the 3rd century AD.
Information from (S2), which includes comparative examples.
Iron shackles and a piece of worked antler (S12) were also found during further dredging work in 1947.
E. Rose (NAU), 2 October 1990 and D. Robertson (NLA), March 2006.

November 1950. Found during further dredging.
Visor mask from Roman helmet - broken into two parts. Made of brass. Similar decoration to the 1947 helmet, but from a 2nd helmet. Decoration includes figures of Mars and Victory. Information from (S3).
See full details, drawings (S4), photographs ((S5) to (S9)) and correspondence (S10) and (S11) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 2 October 1990.

Monument Types

  • BRIDGE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WATERMILL? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HELMET (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SAW (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SHACKLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SLAVE CHAIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: 1951. [unknown]. Journal of Roman Studies. Vol XLI, pp 131-2 fig20. pp 131-132; Fig 20 pl.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 01 NW 4.
---Illustration: Plots of Sedlescombe and Worthing tree rings.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1950. Visor-Mask of the Roman helmet discovered. 14 November.
---Publication: A Rare Roman helmet found.
---Publication: 1932. Germania. 16 April.
---Unpublished Document: Clarke, R.R.. Information on decorated helmets.
---Publication: 1900. Die Altererthuner unserer Heidnischen Vorzseit. IV.
---Publication: Mittheilanger uber Heddernheim I.
---Publication: Pfrondorf Kreis Celus.
---Photograph: Bronze Visor Mask from Rodez near Toulouse.
---Photograph: Heddernheim Pfak, Frankfurt.
---Publication: 1955. Guide to Norwich Castle Museum.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1947. Rare Roman find - Helmet taken from Wensum. 6 September.
---Newspaper Article: The Illustrated London News. 1947. A newly-discovered rarity of Roman armour: The Worthing Helmet. 20 September.
---Newspaper Article: The Illustrated London News. 1950. A newly found visor the Worthing Helmet: A discovery much enhancing the original find. 9 December.
---Article in Serial: Thompson, H.. 1993. Iron Age and Roman Slave-Shackles. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 150 pp 57-168. p 163.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Hoe [4].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S2>Article in Serial: Toynbee, J. M. C. and Clarke, R. R. 1948. A Roman Decorated Helmet and other Objects from Norfolk. Journal of Roman Studies. Vol XXXVIII pp 20-27. pp 20-27.
<S3>Article in Serial: Toynbee, J.M.C.. 1951. Roman Britain in 1950.. Journal for Roman Studies. Vol XLI. pp 131-132; Pl XI.
<S5>Photograph: A.E. Coe & Sons. 1947. Worthing 2984.
<S6>Photograph: British Museum. Worthing Roman helmet.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. [Photograph of Worthing Helmet].
<S8>Photograph: NCM. Photograph of Worthing helmet.
<S9>Photograph: Ashley, H.. Worthing: Site of Roman helmet.
<S10>Photograph: Clarke, R.R.. 1950. Worthing Visor Mask.
<S11>Correspondence: Correspondence regarding Worthing Helmet.
<S12>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1947. Sketch of a Roman red deer antler haft. Card. 1:1.

Related records - none

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