Record Details

NHER Number:30228
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Iron Age, Roman and Middle Saxon settlement

Summary

In 1999 and 2000 the Norfolk Archaeological Unit excavated a complex area of Iron Age, Roman and Middle Saxon settlement on this site. A ring ditch was also revealed, probably the remains of a round barrow dating to the Early Bronze Age. Several Late Iron Age and Roman circular and rectangular structures, post holes and ditches were found, representing several phases of boundaries and enclosures. A number of Middle Saxon features were excavated, including ditches which were probably part of a system of enclosure or drainage, and a series of pits. An area of medieval ridge and furrow is visible on aerial photographs from 1946, but this has since been destroyed.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 6096 0221
Map Sheet:TF60SW
Parish:DOWNHAM MARKET, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

October 1993. Field north of site NHER 21475.
Context 1.
2 medieval coins. Post medieval coins (not listed).
See list in file.
Identified J. Davies (NCM).
A. Rogerson (NLA), 3 December 1993.

For details of history of this land as the park of Crow Hall see (S1) under Crow Hall (NHER 2459).

November 1997. Desk-based Assessment.
Assessment of proposed development area comprising four fields immediately north of the Downham Market southern bypass.
See report (S2) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 7 April 2015.

September 1999. Trial Trenching.
Area extended to cover this and adjacent fields (Context 2).
Evaluation revealed ditches containing prehistoric flints, Iron Age, Roman, Middle Saxon Late Saxon and medieval pottery, and Iron Age brooch; also post holes and pits.
The results seem to indicate Iron Age and Middle Saxon settlement.
See reports (S3) and (S4) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S5).
E. Rose (NLA) 20 December 1999.

Remains of east-west ridge and furrow are visible on aerial photographs of this area.
Information from (S4).
E. Rose (NLA) 26 January 1999.

April 2000. Metal detecting.
Basal sherd of a Roman colour-coated beaker. Made in East Anglia 3rd or 4th century AD.
K. Hinds (NLA), 7 July 2000.

September-December 1999 and July-August 2000. Excavations.
Excavation of five separate areas. Areas 1-3 were excavated first, in September-December 1999, with Areas 4-5 excavated in July-August 2000.
The westernmost excavations (Areas 1-3) revealed Late Iron Age or early Roman features. Although some structural remains were recorded, the dominant elements were a series of ditched boundaries, forming a system of well-maintained enclosures. The date of the onset of Iron Age settlement at this site is unclear, but the pottery assemblage suggests that occupation occurred late in this period, perhaps not before the 1st century BC. The mix of Iron Age and Roman pottery shows that occupation continued at least until the 1st century AD.
Excavations in the central/southern part of the site (Areas 4-5) revealed a complex sequence of Middle Saxon ditched boundaries and a few pits. This may represent a fen-margin occupation site from which all structural evidence had been removed by plough erosion. It is unclear whether the site was occupied permanently or on a seasonal or intermittent basis. It is possible that the ditches represent one element of an intensive system of livestock husbandry, with animals wintering on the upland skirting the fen-edge and being driven to summer pasture in the fenland.
A heavily truncated ring-ditch in Area 4 was thought to represent the remains of an Early Bronze Age barrow, and the fact that several later ditches respected its position, suggested that the mound was still visible as an earthwork during the Middle Saxon period.
See published article (S6) and publication draft (S7) for further information.
For additional details on the excavation of Areas 1-3 see assessment report (S8), unpublished report (S9) and publication draft (S10). For further details on the excavation of Areas 4-5 see assessment report (S11) and publication draft (S12). When these various reports were produced it was intended that the two excavations would be published separately.
The results of this work are also summarised in (S13).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2013.304).
D. Gurney (NLA), 11 December 2001 and A. Cattermole (HES), 2 September 2011. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 7 April 2015 and 17 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RING DITCH (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW? (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BUILDING (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • GULLY (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • STACK STAND? (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • STOCK ENCLOSURE? (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH? (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • BUILDING (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • DITCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PIT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • PIT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • STOCK ENCLOSURE (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • DITCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RIDGE AND FURROW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • VESSEL (Unknown date)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • CORE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FLAKE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • BOW BROOCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • HARNESS (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • KNIFE (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • QUERN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • WEFT BEATER (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Taigel, A. 1997. Norfolk Gardens Trust: Town Gardens Survey - Volume One. Norfolk Gardens Trust.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Griffiths, D. 1997. Land off London Road and Park Lane, Downham Market, Norfolk. Oxford Archaeological Associates Limited.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Meckseper, C. and Hutcheson, A. 1999. Interim Report on Archaeological Exploratory Work on land off London Road, Downham Market. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 452.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Meckseper, C. 2000. Report on an Archaeological Exploration at Land off London Road, Downham Market. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 477.
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 526.
<S6>Article in Serial: Percival, J. and Trimble, G. 2008. Excavations at Crow Hall Park, London Road, Downham Market, 1999-2000. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt III pp 293-336.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, J. and Trimble, G. 2005. Excavations at Crow Hall Park, London Road, Downham Market. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1057.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Meckseper, C. 2000. Land off London Road, Downham Market: Assessment Report and Updated Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 484.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, J. 2001. Report on an Archaeological Excavation at Land off London Road, Downham Market, Norfolk. Areas 1-3. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 597.
<S10>Unpublished Contractor Report: Trimble, G. 2001. Report on an Archaeological Eexcavation at Land off London Road, Downham Market, Norfolk, Areas 1-3. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 644.
<S11>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, J. 2001. Downham Market Excavation Areas 4 & 5 (Land North of A1122 Downham Market Bypass). Post Fieldwork Assessement of Potential for Analysis and Update Project Design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 594.
<S12>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, J. 2001. Excavations at land off London Road, Downham Market: Areas 4 & 5. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 642.
<S13>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2001. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2000. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt IV pp 707-728. p 711.

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