Record Details

NHER Number:42194
Type of record:Monument
Name:Multi-period drainage ditches

Summary

A group of interconnected drainage ditches of varying dates is visible as cropmarks and earthworks on aerial photographs. Some have the appearance of modern land drains; others probably correspond with boundaries depicted on Horsey Tithe Map of 1816 and are probably post medieval; others are undated but are also likely to date to the post medieval or modern period. At the same time, the fact that many of the mapped drains follow a sinuous course suggests that they could have originated in the medieval period.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 4696 2216
Map Sheet:TG42SE
Parish:HORSEY, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

November 2005. Norfolk NMP.
A group of drainage ditches of varying dates is visible as cropmarks and earthworks on aerial photographs (S1), (S2), (S3), (S4), (S5), (S6), (S7), (S8), (S9), (S10), (S11) and (S12), centred at TG 4701 2222. Many of the ditches are interconnected and appear to form a coherent system. Some, however, have characteristics which suggest that they are variously of medieval, post medieval or modern date, and overall they are most likely to represent a drainage system which has been modified in various ways over a long period of time. Parts of the system overlie a probable former peat and/or clay extraction site (NHER 42193), while others skirt around it.

Some elements of the drainage system follow a rather serpentine course, such as the ditch visible between TG 4660 2210 and TG 4741 2215. Serpentine drains, adapted from natural watercourses, are generally thought to characterise early drainage originating in the medieval period (S13). Other elements, such as the ditch between TG 4738 2243 and TG 4741 2221 and that between TG 4742 2221 and TG 4688 2215, probably correspond with boundaries depicted on Horsey Enclosure Map (S14). These are not shown on Faden’s Map of 1797 (S15) and seem likely to be of 19th century date, but an earlier origin is possible. Some elements are not shown on any of the historic maps consulted but fit the same pattern, and these are also likely to be of post medieval date. For example, a ditch between TG 4660 2206 and TG 4656 2201 lines up with a drain shown on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map (S16). The rectilinear pattern of drains visible to the east of Ford’s Farm (around TG 4710 2223) has the appearance of being made up of modern land drains. At the same time it is connected to less regular elements which are likely to be post medieval or earlier and part of it (between TG 4717 2241 and TG 4703 2219) may correspond with an Enclosure Map boundary (S14).

Two of the ditches at TG 4662 2195 are visible as negative vegetation marks (i.e. as are usually found above positive features such as banks) but this is probably a product of the draining affect of the underlying ditch and they have consequently been mapped as cut features. Banks flanking some of the ditches may be man-made or may be naturally formed levees.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 29 November 2005.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAIN (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • FIELD DRAIN? (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • DRAIN (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • DRAINAGE SYSTEM (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FIELD DRAIN? (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/832 3202-3 23-SEP-1945 (NHER TG 4522C & TG 4621A).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/859 3117-9 29-SEP-1945 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4108-9 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 4622A, TG 4722A).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 3053-4 25-OCT-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5002-3 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5346-8 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 82/1214 (F21) 0340-1 06-JUN-1955 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1964. RAF 58/6112 (F43) 0111-3 01-JAN-1964 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1965. MAL 65080 200-2 19-SEP-1965 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72018 176-7 15-MAR-1972.
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72053 211-2 23-MAR-1972.
<S12>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1973. MAL 73061 001-2 09-DEC-1973 (NMR).
<S13>Map: Williamson, T.. 2003-4?. Broads Authority Historical Survey. Landscape Categories Notes.
<S14>Map: 1816. Horsey Enclosure Map (NRO MC 1752/2).
<S15>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S16>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889 - 1891. Ordnance Survey first edition 6 inch map.. 1:10,560.

Related records - none

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