Record Details

NHER Number:36414
Type of record:Monument
Name:Multi-period features at Longdell Hills gravel quarry

Summary

Archaeological evaluations in advance of gravel extraction and cropmark visible on aerial photographs at the Longdells site has recorded evidence for multi-period use of the landscape. The earliest evidence is Early Neolithic deposition in a tree throw hollow. Bronze Age and Early Iron Age structures have been recorded, and there is possible evidence for Iron Age ritual deposition of pottery. Probable prehistoric unurned cremation burials were excavated. Roman gullies and many medieval charcoal pits were also found.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 14 11
Map Sheet:TG11SW
Parish:EASTON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

June 2000. Desk-based Assessment.
Assessment of proposed aggregates extraction area.
Desktop evaluation revealed that river gravels have traditionally yielded considerable archaeological evidence. The proposed extraction site lies within a landscape that bears testimony to widespread, if not intensive, prehistoric and Roman activity. The site itself has not been subjected to targeted archaeological fieldwork and a single possible Bronze Age ring ditch identified from an aerial photograph is the only known archaeology on the site. The presence or absence of archaeological remains must be determined before any planning decision can be taken.
See report (S1) for further details.
D. Gurney (NLA), 26 June 2003.

December 2001. Systematic Fieldwalking and Metal-detecting Survey and Trial Trenching.
Field survey followed by excavation of 21 trial trenches. From context 1.
Spread of archaeological evidence across the site. Trial trenching identified concentrations of Iron Age activity in the central and southwestern areas of the field. The features suggest the presence of a settlement with associated agricultural activity. A pit and ditch at the western extent of the west field may also suggest an area of settlement. Bronze Age pottery was found within these features. Charcoal rich pits are of interest. They may have served as pit ovens or for charcoal manufacture.
See report (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3).
M. Dennis (NLA), 9 November 2005.

January 2002. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of haul road route.
Twelve pits, three ditches and two shallow gullies were recorded. The pits were excavated to contain fires. It is possible that they were used for an industrial activity such as charcoal making. A single Bronze Age sherd from one of the pits may be residual. No further evidence for Iron Age activity was recorded. Linear ditches for landscape division probably for agricultural purposes could not be dated.
See report (S4) for further details.
M. Dennis (NLA), 9 November 2005.

March-August 2002. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of area at western end of western field.
Recorded a range of archaeological features including pits, postholes, linear ditches and cremation burials. Most of these are likely to be prehistoric. There is evidence for an Early Iron Age occupation site. Some of these features appear to incorporate an element of ritual significance. Early Neolithic material collected from a tree throw hollow has parallels elsewhere in Britain. Seventeen more charcoal pits were excavated. Unurned cremation burials could not be dated.
See report (S5) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S6).
M. Dennis (NLA), 10 November 2005.

June 2003. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of eastern half of western field.
A significant number of features and deposits of Early Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and medieval date were recorded. These include a Neolithic pit, a possible Bronze Age posthole and slot possible representing a structure, possible Iron Age ritual deposition of pottery, possible Iron Age structure perhaps used seasonally or for hunting, a Roman gully containing fragments from a 1st to 2nd century AD vessel and medieval charcoal pits.
See report (S7) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S8).
M. Dennis (NLA), 10 November 2005.

September 2004. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of small area within western field. Contexts 1000-1019 used.
Pits, postholes and a gully dating to the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age were recorded in the northern part of the area. These represent an Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age structure that may be part of a settlement including the Early Iron Age structure previously excavated in June 2003 100m to the east.
See report (S9) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S10).
M. Dennis (NLA), 10 November 2005.

July-August 2005. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of area at western end of eastern field. Contexts 1050-1138.
A range of archaeological features were recorded, including pits, post holes and ditches. Firmly dated features included pits of late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age date, also a cluster of Iron Age post holes. A number of charcoal rich pits showing evidence of burning, but dating evidence and function are currently unresolved.
See report (S11) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S12).
J. Allen (NLA), 29 June 2006.

May-June 2006. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of area within eastern field. Contexts 2000-2212.
Pits, ditches and possible post holes were recorded.
Some of the ditches were continuations of those boundaries revealed to the south and west in 2005.
They were mainly undated although at least one was of post-medieval date and one contained a couple of sherds of pottery of later Neolithic/Early Bronze Age and Iron Age date. Some burnt pits, similar to those found previously at the site, were excavated - these subcircular burnt pits were undated but one other isolated pit contained pottery and flint of probable earlier Neolithic date, a cluster of pits and possible post holes were dated by Beaker-type pottery to the later Neolithic early Bronze Age and two pits contained earlier Iron Age pottery.
Other pits were undated and a few features were probably of natural origin.
There were no features that corresponded with the possible cropmark ring ditch that had previously been identified in this part of the site (NHER 30557).
See report (S13) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S14).
J. Allen (NLA), 6 March 2007.

2007. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of area at eastern end of eastern field. Contexts 2250-2364.
Single linear features and several discrete features of likely prehistoric date.
Details to come.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 8 October 2008.

April 2008. Outline publication synopsis.
This site will be included in a forthcoming monograph investigating Iron Age sites in Norfolk.
See (S15) for further details.
S. Howard (NLA), 5 January 2010.

2008. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of previously wooded area to north of eastern field. Contexts from 2400.
Features included narrow, shallow ditches and several pits.
Details to come.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 8 October 2008.

June 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Assessment of the aerial photographs for the area of this archaeological excavation area revealed numerous fragmentary ditches (S16)-(S17), many of which corresponded with ditches excavated at the site. Further assessment of the cropmarks in relation to the excavation results would be beneficial, but time is not currently available within the NMP project. The cropmarks of a series of parallel ditches in the area of TG 1409 1111 (S17), would appear to form part of an enclosure of possible Roman date excavated as part of the evaluation of that site (NHER 36414) (S11) (S13) although many of the ditches remain undated and/or material was considered residual, whilst others contained Late Neolithic – Early Bronze Age material or post medieval date material (S11) (S13). None of the east-west enclosure ditches recorded as part of the excavation could be identified on the aerial photographs, however this is likely to be due to the concurrence of those features and the agricultural tramlines within the field. It seems likely that the majority of these ditches represent field boundaries and that the enclosure recorded during the excavations represents part of an agricultural field system. Another group of ditches mapped to the east, in the area of TG 1425 1107 (S17), follow a different alignment and are likely to form another phase of fields. Excavated sections indicate a possible later prehistoric date for these ditches (S13).
S. Horlock (NMP), 16 June 2010.

2011. Strip Map and Sample Excavation.
Excavation of small areas adjacent to area excavated in 2008.
Three discrete small pits.
Details to come.
P. Watkins (HES), 7 May 2015.

A combined archive comprising material from most, if not all, of the various phases of archaeological work at this site has now been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.88).
P. Watkins (HES), 18 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • CHARCOAL PRODUCTION SITE (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • GULLY (Unknown date)
  • OVEN (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • PIT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • DITCH (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • PIT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POST HOLE (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • GULLY (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • PIT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD?)
  • ENCLOSURE? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • GULLY (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • CHARCOAL (Unknown date)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • SAMPLE (Unknown date)
  • XFIRED CLAY (Unknown date)
  • POT BOILER (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BURNT FLINT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CORE (Late Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 3000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Late Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 3000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • XFIRED CLAY (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN WEIGHT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Lang Hall Archaeology. 2000. Proposed Extraction of Sand and Gravel at Longdell Hills, Costessy, Norfolk. An Archaeological Assessment. Lang Hall Archaeology.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Trimble, G. 2002. Report on an archaeological evaluation at Longdell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 660.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2002. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2001. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt I pp 162-177. p 166.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Trimble, G. 2002. Report on an Archaeological Watching Brief at Longdell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 680.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Trimble, G. 2004. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Londell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. Interim Report. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 946.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2003. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 368-384. p 371.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Boyle, M. 2004. An Archaeological Strip and Record Excavation at Longdell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. Interim Report. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 859.
<S8>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2004. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2003. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt III pp 573-588. p 577.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Tatler, S. 2004. An Archaeological Strip and Record Excavation at Longdell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 999.
<S10>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2005. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2004. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt IV pp 751-763. p 754.
<S11>Unpublished Contractor Report: Boyle, M. 2006. An Archaeological Strip and Record Excavation at Longdell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. Phase 4 Interim Report. NAU Archaeology. 1126.
<S12>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 127a.
<S13>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. 2006. An Archaeological Strip and Record Excavation at Longdell Hills, Easton, Norfolk. NAU Archaeology. 1187.
<S14>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 2007. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2006. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt II pp 261-273. p 264.
<S15>Unpublished Contractor Report: Watkins, P. 2008. The Archaeology of Iron Age Norfolk: an outline publication synopsis. NAU Archaeology. 1716a.
<S16>Vertical Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1954. NMR TG 1411/1 (CUCAP OC52) 20-JUN-1954.
<S17>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1992. OS/92339 105-7 11-JUN-1992 (NMR).

Related records - none

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