Record Details

NHER Number:30864
Type of record:Monument
Name:Roman brooch making debris, a coin hoard and multi-period finds

Summary

Metal-detecting between 1994 and 2012 recovered a collection of 1st to 2nd century AD copper alloy Roman brooches, brooch blanks, brooch moulds and other metalworking debris. One of the brooch moulds still contained an unfinished brooch. Only two other Roman metal moulds for brooches have been found in this country (in 2006), and these are also in Norfolk (NHER 34732 and NHER 1003). The association of the Old Buckenham moulds with other part finished artefacts, however, further enhances their importance. Excavation, geophysical survey and metal-detecting have revealed little evidence for other Roman activity in the area except for a small hoard of twenty-one Roman coins. These isolated Roman finds may have been dropped by a Roman craftsman or been moved here in topsoil when the nearby airfield (NHER 9235) was constructed.
Other finds recovered during metal-detecting include animal bones; prehistoric worked flints; a medieval coin and post-medieval pottery sherds, brick fragments and a nail.

Images

  • Roman brooch from NHER 30864  © Norfolk County Council
  • Roman brooch from NHER 30864  © Norfolk County Council

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TM09SE
Parish:OLD BUCKENHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

1994. Metal-detecting.
Roman brooch mould with brooch still in it.
At least four more (one brooch and three catch plates) with residue still attached.
At least three casting sprues.
Ten more pieces - some or all may be part of the process of making brooches.
One more bronze blob and one lead? From area in July.
Hoard of seven Republican coins - see list in file (not sent).
Identified by J. Davies (NCM).
See (S1).
W. Milligan (NCM), 6 May 1994.

October 1994.
Excavation of Roman brooch factory site where brooches and moulds previously found.
No archaeological features recorded.
Prehistoric flints and post-medieval finds.
See (S2).
See (S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S11, S12, S13 and S14)
M. Dennis (NLA), 15 May 2006.

October 1994. Geophysical survey. Gradiometer and magnetic susceptibility survey.
Geophysical survey includes area north of road.
The survey indicates a low level of response to isolated ferrous anomalies. There are no clear concentrations of archaeological anomalies although one possible pit has been detected near the centre of the survey area. The magnetic susceptibility survey also indicated very little variation.
See (S2) and (S3).
M. Dennis (NLA), 15 May 2006.

The seven coins mentioned above, plus another seven (details to come) were declared Treasure Trove 11 January 1995.
Information from W. Milligan (NCM).
E. Rose (NLA), 12 January 1995.

November 1995. Metal-detecting.
Brooch mould fragment.
Two brooch fragments.
Bronze fragment - ?Bronze Age.
From a larger area around:
Casting jet, waste metal.
Republican denarius fragment (two-thirds).
Middle Bronze Age spear tip.
See (S1) and (S4) in file.
W. Milligan (NCM), 30 November 1994.

December 1995. Metal-detecting.
Seven more coins from hoard (four republican, one Mark Antony, two Augustus, enlarging total to twenty one) returned to finder.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 15 January 2003.

1996. Metal-detecting.
One medieval coin find within 45m (50 yards) of mould site.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 7 February 2001.

Excavation, geophysical survey and metal-detecting have revealed little evidence for other Roman activity in the area. The brooch making debris may have been moved here during large scale movement of topsoil during creation of the nearby airfield or the moulds were a casual loss probably from an itinerant craftsman. The brooch typology dates this loss to before 150 AD. Only one other Roman metal mould has been found in the country and other parts of the Western Roman Empire. Amazingly this also comes from Norfolk (NHER 34732). The association of the Old Buckenham moulds with other part finished artefacts, however, further enhances its importance.
See (S2).
M. Dennis (NLA), 15 May 2006.

August 2010. Metal-detecting.
Additional coin to 1994 coin hoard.
See report in file.
A. Rogerson (HES), 23 November 2011.

Amended Treasure Report from the British Museum on one silver Roman coin found March 2010 and reported as Treasure case 2010 T727, added to file.
E. Darch (HES), 10 February 2011.

3 February 2012. Metal-detecting. [2].
Roman copper alloy incomplete blank for a Colchester Derivative type brooch, (S15).
Information from PAS import.
A. Beckham (HES), 5 February 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING SITE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • FLAKED AXEHEAD (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SPEAR (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN HOARD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • MOULD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 60 AD to 120 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • NAIL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished document: DCMS. 1996-7. Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee Annual Report 1996-7 no.27.. No 27.
---Unpublished document: Bayley, J.. Brooch moulds and metalworking debris from Old Buckenham, Norfolk.
---Unpublished document: Mackreth, D. F.. Debris from a brooch manufacturer's baggage..
---Article in serial: Guillaumet, J-P.. 1978. Note sur un ensemble de fibules inachevees de Bibracte (Mont-Beuvray).. Antiquites Nationales. No 10.
---Monograph: Blockley, K.. 1989. Prestatyn 1984-5.. BAR British Series. Vol 210.
---Newspaper Article: 1995. Eastern Daily Press. 12 January.
---Unpublished document: Marsden, A.. 2010. Treasure report. November 2010. 2010 T727.
---Article in serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1995. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1994. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt II pp 230-239. p 232.
---Article in serial: Davies, J. A. and Wallis, H. 1999. A Roman Vessel Foot from Old Buckenham. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 345-346.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Correspondence: Mackreth, D. F.. 2000. Letter and drawings of Roman brooch moulds.. 20/07/2000.
---Correspondence: Ovenden, S.M.. 1994. Letter concerning geophysical survey at Old Buckenham.. 11/10/1994.
<S1>Photograph: I&RS. Finds Polaroid. Polaroid.
<S2>Article in serial: Bayley, J., Mackreth, D.F. & Wallis, H.. 2001. Evidence for Romano-British Brooch Production at Old Buckenham, Norfolk.. Britannia. Vol XXXII. pp 93-118.
<S3>Unpublished document: Ovenden, S.M.. 1994. Report on Geophysical Survey Old Buckenham, Norfolk. October.
<S4>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman complete copper alloy brooch.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S5>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch catch plate.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S6>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman incomplete copper alloy brooch catch plate.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S7>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch catch plate.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S8>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch catch plate.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S9>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman incomplete copper alloy brooch bour.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S10>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman incomplete copper alloy mould and brooch.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S11>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch mould.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S12>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch mould.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S13>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch mould.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S14>Illustration: Hadjul, R.. Unknown. Drawing of a Roman copper alloy brooch mould.. Unknown. Unknown.
<S15>Illustration: Gibbons, J.. 2012. Drawing of a fragment of a Roman unfinished brooch casting.. Film. 2:1.

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