Record Details

NHER Number:39458
Type of record:Monument
Name:Iron Age and Roman settlement, 60 Acre Field

Summary

A programme of archaeological investigation in advance of aggregate extraction revealed a large area of complex archaeological remains. Excavation in the north of the site indicates that this was the location of a Late Iron Age and Roman settlement comprising ditched enclosures, trackways, pits and post-built structures. A Late Iron Age mortuary enclosure containing an unurned cremation was also excavated. A small quantity of Beaker pottery indicates that there was also activity here in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age.
Geophysical survey and cropmarks (NHER 11724) have confirmed that further enclsoures and field systems are present beyond the excavated area.

Images

  • Norfolk Heritage Explorer volunteers inspect the excavation of a Roman kiln in Watlington in early 2006  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TF 6299 1069
Map Sheet:TF61SW
Parish:WATLINGTON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Previously included in NHER 11724, which is now a parent record for cropmarks recorded on this site.

November 1999. Desk-based Assessment.
Assessment of proposed mineral extraction area.
See report (S1) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 4 June 2015.

September 2000. Systematic Fieldwalking and Metal-detecting Survey.
Field Survey of proposed mineral extraction area. Contexts 1 to 24.
Prehistoric worked flint.
A tentative concentration of Roman pottery lying to the north of the enclosure and beyond the main area of cropmarks suggests a possible focus of activity in this area.
2 Middle Saxon pottery sherds.
5 medieval pottery sherds.
Post medieval pottery, coins, and tokens were found across the site.
See report (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 7 March 2007.

September-December 2003. Excavation. From context 100.
Evidence for prehistoric activity within the assessment area appears to be limited, and includes isolated finds of struck and burnt flints as well as a possible late Neolithic polished axehead.
Activity appears to intensify in this area in the Late Iron Age, and the recorded archaeological remains suggest a small-scale settlement and farming activity characterised by small pit clusters and short lengths of ditch and gully. The pits are likely to have been excavated as storage pits and later used for waste disposal. A Late Iron Age mortuary enclosure was also identified and contained an unurned cremation.
1st to 2nd century Romano-British activity appears to be characterised by the further excavation of linear features and the appearance of trackways, as well as a marked decrease in the excavation of pits. This evidence points to the continued use of the landscape for agricultural purposes and settlement, with slight changes of emphasis in the activity undertaken.
2nd to 3rd century Romano-British activity appears to mark a shift in the landscape usage, and is characterised by the appearance of post-built structures, an increased formalisation of enclosure activity and very limited evidence for the excavation of pits. The northeastern part of the site appears to have been remodelled, introducing a gridded system of crossing north to south and east to west gullies, presumably to allow drainage of boggy ground. It is thought that a corn-dryer excavated on the conveyor line may also date to this phase of activity. The mortuary enclosure at the centre of the site appears to fall out of use in this period, and is cut by a west to east aligned track.
The 3rd to 4th century activity illustrates the most dramatic shift yet in the use of the area, and is characterised by the excavation of large ditches only, with no evidence of pits or other activity within this phase. Some of the features dated to this phase may in fact be Saxon.
The identification of Early Saxon activity is problematic, with only a single, short, curvilinear gully being securely dated to this period. Two pits, one containing metalworking debris, may also be of Early Saxon date, although this is less certain.
No medieval activity was identified within the assessment area.
Post medieval activity indicates arable land-use.
See preliminary assessment of significance (S4) for further details.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 14 March 2007.

February 2004. Trial Trenching.
Minimal intervention evaluation of unexcavated areas within 60 Acre Field. No contexts allocated.
Given the intensive archaeology in other areas nearby, seventeen trenches were opened up to provide information on the presence/absence and density of archaeological features. The work indicates intensive archaeological remains across the majority of the site, although this density may diminish somewhat towards the eastern and western margins.
See report (S5) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S6).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 7 March 2007.

2005. Excavation.
Further excavation revealed a sequence of occupation ranging from the prehistoric through to the medieval period. Evidence of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age activity was revealed by the presence of Beaker pottery in some ditches in the SW part of the site. During the Late Iron Age and the period transitional to the Roman era there appeared to be only sporadic evidence for occupation in the form of a few pits and an incomplete rectangular enclosure.
During the first and second century AD the occupation of the site was more noticable, with the presence of pits, enclosures, two kilns and two ring ditches. However, the settlement seems to have expanded during the later second and third century AD, which saw the creation of a regular field system. A trackway (seen in earlier work) ran east-west, with two smaller trackways diverging from it to the north, probably defining fields to either side. A kiln and some possible 'puddling' pits (where clay was mixed with other materials before pottery production) may also date to this phase, as well as large quantities of metal working debris. The third and fourth century AD seem to have seen contraction of the settlement as very few features could be positively attributed to that phase.
Archaeological features of Saxon, medieval and post-medieval dates were sparse.
The results of this work are summarised in (S7).
D. Holburn (HES), 26 September 2011.

October 2007. ALSF NHER Enhancement Sub-Unit D.
Cropmarks on this site are recorded as NHER 11724.
M. Dennis (NLA), 2 October 2007.

6 February 2012. Geophysical Survey.
Geophysical survey was carried out in two small areas in the south of Sixty Acre Field in order to assess the density of archaeological features in advance of additional quarrying. The magnetic background was found to be extremely variable and only a small number of archaeological features could be securely identified.
Four linear anomalies were identified in the western study area: two running north-south, one aligned north-east to south-west, and one aligned north-west to south-east. All but one of these had previously been identified as cropmarks (see NHER 11724 and NHER 50966) and have been interpreted as in-filled ditches or gullies.
Survey of the eastern study area revealed a ditch forming the eastern side of a square enclosure and a small fragment of the eastern side of a subsidiary enclosure, both visible as cropmarks (see NHER 50966). A break in magnetic response may locate an entrance to the primary enclosure. A circular cropmark feature (NHER 50970) was also visible as an anomaly on the northern edge of the study area. A discrete magnetic anomaly in the centre of this feature and three similar responses to the west of it may also be caused by archaeological features. The only other feature identified in this area was a linear anomaly parallel to the eastern edge which correlates with a field boundary depicted on 19th century maps.
See report (S8) for further information.
H. Hamilton (HES), 28 December 2012.

April 2012. Trial Trenching.
Details awaited.
The results of this work are briefly summarised in (S9).

2012. Excavation.
Details awaited.

2013. Excavation.
Details awaited.

2014. Excavation.
Details awaited.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • GULLY (Unknown date)
  • PIT? (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • DITCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • GULLY (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • PIT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • RING DITCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • RUBBISH PIT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • STORAGE PIT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • CREMATION (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • MORTUARY ENCLOSURE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Roman - 43 AD to 199 AD)
  • PIT (Roman - 43 AD to 199 AD)
  • POTTERY KILN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Roman - 43 AD to 199 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • CORN DRYING OVEN (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • GULLY (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • POST BUILT STRUCTURE (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Roman - 100 AD to 299 AD)
  • DITCH (Roman - 200 AD to 399 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • GULLY (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • PIT (Early Saxon - 410 AD? to 650 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • KNIFE (Undated)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Undated)
  • POT MEND (Unknown date)
  • STRAP FITTING (Unknown date)
  • THIMBLE (Unknown date)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Unknown date)
  • VESSEL (Unknown date)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • LOOMWEIGHT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • HAIR PIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • KILN FURNITURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • RING (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SHEET (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEGULA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Early Saxon - 411 AD? to 650 AD?)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished Contractor Report: Whitmore, D. 2010. Watlington Quarry, Norfolk: Archaeological Excavation Assessment Tasks. NAU Archaeology. 1691a.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Havercroft, A. 1999. A Desk-Based Assessment. Archaeological and Historic Features (Extended Update). Land at Watlington and Tottenhill, Norfolk. The Guildhouse Consultancy.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Havercroft, A. 2000. Archaeological Evaluation Field Survey Report (Fieldwalking and Metal Detecting). '60 Acre Field', Watlington. The Guildhouse Consultancy.
<S3>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 727.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Town, M. 2004. Preliminary Assessment of Significance. Watlington Quarry, Norfolk (Sixty Acre Field - Mineral Extraction Phases 1, 1a and 2). Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 956.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bown, J. 2004. An Archaeological Evaluation (Minimal Intervention) at 60 Acre Field, Watlington, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 923.
<S6>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 762.
<S7>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 135.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Webb, A. and Harrison, S. 2012. Land at Sixty Acre Field, Watlington, Norfolk. Geophysical Survey. Archaeological Services WYAS. 2315.
<S9>Article in Serial: Cattermole, A. 2013. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2012. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI Pt IV pp 568-576. p 576.

Related records

50966Related to: Cropmarks of late Iron Age to Roman date settlement and fields - 60 Acre Field (Monument)
50972Related to: Cropmarks of undated, but potentially late prehistoric, enclosures and boundaries - 60 Acre Field (Monument)
11724Related to: Multi-period cropmark complex - 60 Acre Field (Monument)
50588Related to: Revoked Record (Revoked)

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