Record Details

NHER Number:27010
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible Roman enclosures and field system

Summary

Group of possible parchmark linears, cropmark ditches and anomalies of unknown definite date, visible on aerial photographs. The site may represent the remains of a Roman field system and enclosures, or later settlement and land use.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 8398 4258
Map Sheet:TF84SW
Parish:BURNHAM MARKET, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
BURNHAM NORTON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

October 2002. Norfolk NMP.
Group of negative cropmarks, consisting of linears, rounded anomalies and a possible enclosure, visible on 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S1) and NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1976 (S2).
Centred on TF 8402 4264 are the negative cropmarks of a possible rectilinear enclosure, measuring 31m by 22m. The parchmarks are 2m across. This is quite near to the supposed location of a Roman building at approximately TF 8407 4266 (NHER 18496). Although it is not clear whether they are part of the same feature.
In the field to south, centred at TF 8412 4254 is a similar possible rectilinear enclosure, measuring 32m by 21m. The western side of the feature is not visible in the cropmarks. This area is a little confused, as the cropmarks look completely different on aerial photographs from different years. There is no sign of this possible enclosure or building on NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1976 (S2). Instead the photograph shows a group of ditches. Crossing over the top is a series of broad ditches, which may be the corner of an enclosure or field. A ditch runs from TF 8415 4255 to TF 8412 4254 and then turns 90º and then continues in an interrupted line to TF 8412 4258. The width of the ditch varies in width from 1m to 3m. To the south at TF 8412 5247 to TF 8404 4244 is another ditch, between 1m to 2m thick. Two roughly parallel, perpendicular ditches co-join this, one at TF 8406 4245, which is 57m long and the second at TF 8411 4247, 50m long and with a 6m causeway towards the adjoining end. A linear arrangement of pits can also be identified, running from TF 8409 4243 to TF 8409 4248. These vary in size between 1m and 2.5m across. Within the centre of all of these cropmarks is an L shaped ditch, running from TF 8406 4250 to TF 8409 4249 and then continuing to TF 8410 4252. Both of the sides of the ditch are approximately 32m long.
To the immediate north of these ditches is a large rectangular parched area, measuring 33m by 14m, located at TF 8409 4256. To the north a possible parched linear running from TF 8395 4264 to TF 8380 4258. It is 160m and 2.5m wide. At TF 8391 4263 it appears to intersect with a parched sub-rounded anomaly, approximately 3m by 6m. Two similar anomalies can be identified to the north and east. On at TF 8390 4266 and another TF 8395 4268. This is the largest at 10m across. To the south of this is a linear, perpendicular to the first. It runs from TF 8397 4263 to TF 8395 4268. A third parched linear is visible to the west, from TF 8385 4258 to TF 8386 4256.
The exact nature of this site is not clear. It is possible that some the linears relate to field boundaries or even more recent ploughing regimes. The ditches identified within the southern area may be relatively modern drainage. Although they do have the appearance of Roman date fields and enclosures. It is possible that these negative features are the results of banked or walled structures, or areas of compacted ground. Field walking in this field and that to the south (NHER 1756 and 18496), have produced a prolific amount of material from prehistoric flints through to medieval pottery and post medieval industrial waste. Although Roman and Saxon material seems to predominate. It is therefore possible that these negative linears and anomalies relate to Roman and later settlement or land use. The site is also to the immediate south of the medieval Carmelite Friary (NHER 1738), so it is also possible that this site is part of associated medieval structures and activities.
S. Massey (NMP), 2 October 2002.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • BUILDING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WALL? (Roman to 19th Century - 43 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3025-6 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 8343A-B).
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. SMR TF 8442F-G (NLA/29/AFJ15-6) 06-JUL-1976.

Related records - none

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