Record Details

NHER Number:27284
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible medieval peat extraction

Summary

Two areas of possible former medieval clay and peat extraction have been identified on aerial photographs within the marshes to the east and north of Hickling Broad (NHER 8387). These cuttings are visible in 1946 as sunken areas within the surrounding marsh, with a darker and wetter fill. Larger areas showing these characteristics within the area, such as at Hickling Broad (HER 8387), Eastfield Marsh (HER 35363) and Cotton’s Marsh (HER 32157), and comparison with historic maps has indicated that these areas correspond with former Broads and extraction areas.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 43178 21572
Map Sheet:TG42SW
Parish:HICKLING, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

March 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Two areas of possible former medieval clay and peat extraction have been identified on aerial photographs within the marshes to the east and north of Hickling Broad (HER 8387). The site is centred on TG 4319 2157. These silted up cuttings are clearly visible as sunken areas within the surrounding marsh in 1946 (S1), with a darker and wetter fill. Larger areas showing these characteristics within the area, such as at Hickling Broad (HER 8387), Eastfield Marsh (HER 35363) and Cotton’s Marsh (HER 32157), and comparison with historic maps has indicated that these areas correspond with former Broads and peat extraction areas. Although other nearby known Broads, such as Horsey (HER 13507) and Heigham Sound (HER 8387) are thought to largely be a product of clay, rather than just peat, extraction (S2) and it is possible that this site and other small extraction areas on the silt marshes of the Thurne may also relate mostly to clay (S3; p87). The soils map for the area would indicate that these extraction pits would have been predominantly cut for clay extraction, although it is possible that the underlying peat was also cut once the clay had been removed.

These features appear to extend up towards Chapman’s Broad, which was part of the larger Hickling Broad complex (HER 8387). The eastern end of Chapman’s Broad appears to run towards these cuttings, so it is possible that they were once connected. A series of meandering channels traverse this whole area and continue across ‘The Hundred Acres Marsh’. These peat cuttings and Chapman’s Broad appears to have been cut off from the rest of the Hickling Broad complex and drained in associated with the Parliamentary Enclosure of Hickling in 1808 (S3; p97). The post medieval drains and boundaries associated with this phase of Enclosure can be seen to cut across these former peat cuttings (HER 27288).
S. Massey (NMP), 29 March 2005.

Monument Types

  • CLAY PIT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PEAT CUTTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PEAT EXTRACTION SITE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4102-3 09-JUL-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 4222B, TG 4322A) RAF 106G/UK/1634 4102-3 09-JUL-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 4222B, TG 4322A).
<S2>Unpublished Document: Williamson, T.. 2002. Report for Broads Authority.
<S3>Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1997. The Norfolk Broads: A Landscape History.. p 87.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2020 Norfolk Historic Environment Service