Record Details

NHER Number:26626
Type of record:Monument
Name:Extensive Late Iron Age to Roman settlement


An extensive Late Iron Age to Roman period area of settlement including a system of fields and droveways, rectangular and square enclosures, a ring ditch, linear features and pits is visible as a complex series of cropmarks on vertical and oblique aerial photographs. A watching brief in November 2009 was limited to the stripping of the topsoil and was not of sufficient depth to reveal any archaeological deposits.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6758 3285
Map Sheet:TF63SE

Full description


July 1979.
(Previously NHER 21847).
At this approximate grid reference.
Cropmarks noted on Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography list of aerial photographs.
E. Rose (NAU), 22 October 1985.

Grid reference corrected by D. Edwards (NAU) and stated to be a moat.
E. Rose (NLA).

1980. NAU air photography.

27 June 1980.
Whole of present field shown to be covered with dense network of linear cropmarks, rectangles and trackway cropmarks.
S.L. Norton and E. Rose (NAU), 22 June 1982.

1990. NAU air photograpy.
(Previously NHER 1555).
Cropmarks of a Roman settlement.

June 1995. NLA air photography.
Cropmarks visible.
H. Clare (NLA), 18 April 2001.

24 June 1998. NLA air photography.
(Previously NHER 1554).
Cropmarks visible for area previously delineated; and in addition to this the extent of the cropmarks can be increased to meet the area of NHER 1555 (to the northeast - now this number) and the band of trees/wood to the north (just south of Paper Hall Farm).
See (1) for extent of cropmarks.
H. Clare (NLA), 24 April 2001.

August 2002. Norfolk NMP.
This site is extensive but most of the cropmarks appear to be approximately contemporary. The cropmarks within individual fields can be seen to join or line up with the cropmarks in neighbouring fields and areas. This site covers the areas of NHERs 1515, 1554, 1555, 1557, 1558, 13045, 14357, 20200, 21847, 24055, 33626 and 34531. Excavations on the line of the A149 Snettisham bypass suggest that the majority of these features date from the Roman period, although there may be Iron Age or post-Roman elements within the complex.
The northern area of the site is on the northern side of the now canalised route of the River Ingol. This part of the site is intersected by an exceptionally large road or droveway aligned in a north to south direction, and a narrower track or droveway crossing the site in an east to west direction, essentially dividing the site into quarters (S1) and (S2). The southern part of this northern area (TF 6742 3320) appears to have evidence of dense settlement with a series of adjoining square and rectangular enclosures fronting onto the north to south aligned droveway. These are likely to represent the sites of buildings. There are occasional pit-like features that may represent the site of kilns or sunken-featured buildings. A strip passing through the eastern part of this area was rapidly excavated during the construction of the Snettisham by-pass in 1989. The pottery within the ditch features largely dated from the 1st to 2nd centuries AD (S10). Finds of pottery wasters suggest pottery production and kilns were situated within the immediate locality.
Two lengths of double-ditched track or droveway continue from this northern area onto the southern side of the River Ingol (S11), where they appear to join onto an extensive east to west aligned double-ditched track or drove (TF 6758 3281 to TF 6727 3274). There are multiple ditches leading from the edges of this track, forming multiple narrow fields or enclosures (S4). Beyond the western end of this track is a square enclosure. This enclosure was first recorded as a moat (NHER 21847) from a CUCAP image from 1979 (S4). The interpretation is understandable from that image, but on the oblique images taken in 1998 (S5) it is clear that the site is double ditched and more complex than initially believed. The enclosure (centre: TF 6717 3262) is approximately square with a double ditch visible to the west, north and east; and encloses an area of approximately 34m X 28m. There are no discernible features visible within the enclosure. Although there is no clear causeway passing from the outside to the interior of the enclosure there appears to be a passageway between the ditches on the eastern side, that may be part of an elaborate entrance system, accessed from the north. The alignment of the enclosure might suggest that it is contemporary with the wider system of ditches and fields. There are similar square, double-ditched enclosures visible as cropmarks approximately 450m to the north-west (NHER 21846) and 275m to the south-east (NHER 26626).
The southern part of the site is comprised of an extremely complex system of ditched cropmarks, now bisected by the Snettisham by-pass. Multiple phases of land division and occupation are almost certainly represented. There is a system of linear features and double-ditched trackways aligned in a west to east through to south-west to north-east direction (see (S7) and (S8)), forming strips of land ranging in width from 35m to 60m. There is evidence for re-cutting and re-positioning of many ditches and they may have been allotted in a relatively piecemeal fashion. These areas are sub-divided by a series of fragmentary north to south linear features. Within the centre of the western area is an approximately square, double-ditched enclosure (centre: TF 6744 3246), enclosing an area measuring approximately 24 x 31m. The enclosure has a double ditch on the western and southern sides and appears to incorporate a larger ‘boundary’ trackway as part of its northern side. The eastern side is formed by the western side of a double-ditched droveway or track which extends to the south. Within the enclosure are five short stretches of linear ditched features and what appear to be a series of large pits, which may be contemporary with the original use of the enclosure. This would appear to be one of four enclosures situated on the edge of the saltmarsh (with NHER 21846, 20199 and 26626) which are all similar in size and form. It is not possible to establish whether they are all contemporary, but they may represent settlement or stock enclosures within individually tenured strips of land.
To the immediate north of the enclosure is a partial ring ditch (centred at TF 6745 3249) with a maximum diameter of 10m. There are five pits within an apparent break in its circumference on the western side. This may the site of a round structure or house. Approximately 60m to the south is a circular ring ditch (centred at TF 6744 3242) with a maximum diameter of 15m, and containing three amorphous pit-like features. The feature may represent the site of a Bronze Age funerary monument but it is curiously not respected by some of the linear features, and it is more likely to be the site of a large round structure or house.
There is a trapezoidal enclosure or field (centre: TF 6748 3235) with a line of pits along the interior edge of its northern side. The enclosure is aligned in an approximate south-west to north-east direction and encloses an area measuring approximately 30m X 25m. To the immediate east is the western side of what appears a sub-rounded enclosure (centre? TF 6754 3234), also containing a line of large pits. There are two further small, irregular enclosure that may represent the sites of structures at TF 6757 3240, TF 6750 3238 and TF 6763 3269. Other possible settlement enclosures or structures are located at TF 6743 3262, TF 6786 3272 and TF 6800 3275 (S6).
Within the south of the site are two irregular to sub-rectangular areas of parching, visible only on 1945 images (S9). The western area (centre: TF 6766 3236) is sub-rectangular and is aligned in an approximate southwest to northeast direction, with a length of 68m and a width of 29m. The eastern area (centre: TF 6780 3246) is also sub-rectangular in shape, aligned in an approximate south-west to northeast direction, with a length of 51m and a width of 18m. Theses may simply represent a reversal of the crop and may actually mark the site of negative archaeological features, such as ditched enclosures. However, they may represent parching and mark the site of structures or compacted subsoil features. There is a concentration of medieval and post medieval finds within this southern area as well as building rubble (NHER 1558), which suggest it is the site of a medieval farmstead.
The majority of the cropmarks within this site almost certainly date from the Late Iron Age and Roman periods, and represent a dense settlement within the Ingol Valley. There are multiple phases of land division visible but these could all date from the centuries of the Roman occupation. These features are probably contemporary with and also part of NHER 36211 and 38288.
M. Brennand (NMP), 19 August 2002.

December 2006. Norfolk NMP.
A small incomplete square enclosure mapped at TF 6743 3264 may be the remains of a square barrow or square ditched enclosure of Iron Age to Early Roman date. The enclosure is 8m by at least 6m. The western side is not definitely visible, although an irregular stretch of ditch may define a small sub-rectangular enclosure instead of the suggested square shape. The enclosure has a central pit, although the contemporaneity of these features is not certain as the enclosure is located within an area of pits. The significance of these pits is not certain, they could relate to domestic activity, or possibly even funerary, although this latter interpretation may be unlikely. It is also possible given the geology that these pits are natural pockets of material within the surrounding sands and gravels. Another small, incomplete square enclosure is visible to the northwest at TF 6735 3265, measuring 4m across, and again with an internal pit. A similarly sized enclosure is located approximately 250m to the south at TF 6757 3240. This measures 7m across and has a broad to ditch relative to the size of the enclosed area. No central pit is visible.
S. Massey (NMP), 11 December 2006.

November 2009. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks for new agricultural building.
The depth excavated as part of the watching brief was not of sufficient depth to reveal any archaeological deposits.
See report (S12) for further details.
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2016.335).
S. Howard (NLA), 6 August 2010. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 June 2019.

Monument Types

  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • STRUCTURE? (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC?)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC?)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • SQUARE BARROW? (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD?)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD?)
  • DOUBLE DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • DROVE ROAD (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FLOOR TILE (15th Century to 18th Century - 1500 AD to 1799 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). TF 6732A,Z,AA-AE,AG-AR,AT-AV; TF 6733P-T,U-X,Z,AA-AF,AG-AT.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1982. TF 6732A-V.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1998. TF 6732ABD - ABM,ABR,ABV - ABZ.
---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. TF 6732ADB - ACB.
---Article in Serial: Massey, S., Brennand, M. and Clare, H. 2003. The National Mapping Programme in Norfolk, 2001-3. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 335-344. pp 339-340; Fig 3.
<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. SMR TF 6733B (NLA 86/APE12) 27-JUN-1980.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. SMR TF 6733ABU (NLA 352/HBX11) 19-JUN-1995.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/402 3114 18-JUN-1945 (NMR).
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1979. NHER TF 6732Y (CUCAP CJM43) 14-JUL-1979.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. SMR TF 6732ABF (NLA 393/HTJ5) 24-JUN-1998.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1990. SMR TF 6732AU (NLA 263/GAK9) 18-JUN-1990.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. SMR TF 6732D-E (NLA 86/APE9-10) 27-JUN-1980.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. SMR TF 6732ABF (NLA 393/HTJ5) 24-JUN-1998.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/402 3114 18-JUN-1945.
<S10>Monograph: Flitcroft, M.. 2001. Excavation of a Romano-British Settlement on the A149 Snettisham Bypass 1989.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 93.
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1991. OS/91065 048 15-AUG-1991.
<S12>Unpublished Contractor Report: Kendall, R. 2009. Archaeological Watching Brief on land at Paper Hall Farm, Dersingham Bypass, Snettisham, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services. 120/09.

Related records

1555Parent of: Excavated Roman site within Late Iron Age to Roman settlement, Snettisham (Monument)
34531Parent of: Iron Age and Roman finds from Late Iron Age to Roman settlement (Find Spot)
1557Parent of: Iron Age, Roman and Late Saxon to post-medieval finds (Find Spot)
1558Parent of: Multi-period finds from Late Iron Age to Roman settlement, Ingoldishthorpe (Find Spot)
1515Parent of: Possible Roman pottery kiln and metal working site (Monument)
1554Parent of: Prehistoric, Roman, medieval and post medieval finds from site of Late Iron Age to Roman settlement (Find Spot)
21847Parent of: Revoked Record (Revoked)
33626Parent of: Roman brooches (Find Spot)

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