Record Details

NHER Number:35951
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval field system and post medieval garden features


A complex group of medieval to post medieval features within Burnham Westgate Park, visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. A series of trackways, banks and ditches predate the parkland landscape, whilst other features are part of the post medieval park.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 8277 4226
Map Sheet:TF84SW

Full description

This record contains cropmarks previously recorded under NHER 11608.

12 July 1994. NLA air photography.
Trackway showing up as cropmark, possibly associated with Burnham Westgate Hall (NHER 1768), or alternatively field system (discussed below).
H. Clare (NLA) 23 February 2001.

September 2002. Norfolk NMP. NGR amended from original TF 8280 4217.
Complex palimpsest of cropmarks, some appear to pre-date the park (see NHER 35950) and others appear to be part of the Park landscaping at various stages of its history. These are visible on the 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S1), OS aerial photographs from 1974 (S2) and 1976 CUCAP and NLA oblique aerial photographs (S3-4) and additional NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1996 (S5).

The main feature is a series of interlinked trackways and roads leading to the Hall. These are all showing as parched linears, suggesting that they were either compacted or raised. All of these linears are flanked to either side by a ditch. The central road runs from TF 8260 4218 to TF 8292 4216. From TF 8260 4218 to TF 8275 4218 the road or trackway surface is braided. This may indicate an earlier course of the road or that the road was diverting around an existing feature; a possible ring ditch NHER 35950. Another sweeps round in front of the Hall from the Goose Beck at TF 8288 4211 and continues to the northwest, linking up with the Whiteway Road at TF 8247 4255. A third trackway comes off this at TF 8292 4219 and continues to the east until TF 8297 4224. A fourth can also be traced on the OS verticals from 1974 (S2), continuing through the wood area from TF 8293 4221 to TF 8292 4233.

A series of parallel banks and ditches run perpendicular to the central park road or trackway, previously recorded under NHER 11608. These were assumed to be pre-park fields. It is interesting to note that these boundaries match up quite well in location and dimensions with the house plots that run along the Church Walk. It is possible that these are fields or crofts once attached to these house plots. These boundaries seem to run up to the park road, although the fact that they don't continues to the north may be due to a geological change that can be detected on the aerial photographs. This may be obscuring any further cropmarks.

At TF 8277 4209 is a cluster of sub-rectangular pits or sunken features, visible on CUCAP 1976 oblique aerial photographs (S3). These vary in size from as small as 4m square to up to 11m long. They have the appearance of the oblong sunken features, often interpreted as Saxon grubenhauser, although these may relate to later sunken floored structures. It is also possible that they are much later, post medieval, garden features.

A slightly later feature is centred on TF 8293 4217, visible on NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1996 (S5). This appears to be an area of co-joined rectilinear ditches, covering an area 65m by 35m, located either side of the present day entrance to the Hall. It seems likely that these are post-medieval to modern bedding trenches and garden features.
S. Massey (NMP), 30 September 2002.

Monument Types

  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • GRUBENHAUS (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GARDEN FEATURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROAD (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1994. TF8242/E - J.
<S1>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3027-8 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 8243B-C).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1974. OS/74079 185-6 27-MAY-1974.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP (BXT85) 21-JUN-1976.
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. SMR TF 8242C-D (NLA 29/AFJ4-5) 06-JUL-1976.
<S5>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. SMR TF 8242M (NLA 377/JAJ12) 29-JUL-1996 SMR 8242M (NLA 377/JAJ/12) 29-JUL-1996.

Related records - none

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