Record Details

NHER Number:8814
Type of record:Monument
Name:Commandry or preceptory of St John of Jerusalem

Summary

The commandry or preceptory of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem (a military monastic order similar to the Knights Templar) was established in Carbrooke in 1193 and was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1540. The site is represented by a series of well-preserved earthworks and parch marks visible on aerial photographs. These have revealed the moat which forms a horseshoe around the east part of the site, at least three fishponds and three or more buildings. The western part of one of these buildings was excavated in 1998 during the extension of the local primary school. This revealed flint, brick and mortar foundations some for possible timber walls above foundation level. A fourth fishpond that was filled in with kitchen rubbish (including swan, heron, songbirds and lobster) in the 15th century was also discovered. A prehistoric ditch and a timber-framed Late Saxon building were also excavated.

Images

  • Aerial photograph of excavations of the commandry at Carbrooke.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TF 951 021
Map Sheet:TF90SE
Parish:CARBROOKE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Site of Commandry of St John of Jerusalem. ('The Battlefield' or 'Knight's Hill').
Various Early Saxon and medieval finds reputedly from this site; also a socketed axe mould.
See full list in file.
E. Rose (NAU) 1 February 1982.

1995. Earthwork Survey.
Survey at 1:1000.
See report (S13) for further details and copy of plan (S14). This site was included in (S15) and the survey is also noted in (S16).
P. Watkins (HES), 4 March 2015.

1996. Additional parchmarks noted by owner, who informed NLA.
Visit added further features to 1995 earthwork survey north-west of main building outline.
Copy in file.
B. Cushion (NLA) August 1996.

August-September 1997. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation revealed walls, possible kiln; Roman and Late Saxon sherds, medieval and post medieval levelling and occupation layers.
See report (S1) in file. The results of this work are also summarised in (S12).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2013.310 and possible also NWHCM : 2017.418).
E. Rose (NLA), 24 October 1997. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 April 2019.

January-March 1998. Excavation.
Excavations exposed the western side of the most south-westerly of the building ranges, consisting of a number of flint and mortar structures, some possible with timber superstructures. A 13th century fishpond, reused as a midden from the 15th century until the Dissolution, revealed large quantities of animal bone, showing that the monastic diet at Carbrooke was wide ranging.
See published report (S11) and assessment report (S2) for further details.
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2013.310 and NWHCM : 2017.418).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 6 April 2005. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 April 2019.

Under excellent grass cover, grazed by sheep. A little poaching on bank south of church.
H. Paterson (A&E) 12 April 1998.

Visited at request of Philip Walker (English Heritage) to discuss owner's plans to retain water in the fishponds. Following excessive rainfall, area is already wet and owner has decided against any alterations, as this could cause flooding of the farm drive.
H. Paterson (A&E) 11 May 1999. m

25 April 1994. NLA air photography (S3).
Earthworks visible.
M. Brennand (NLA), 31 January 2001.

26 June 1996. NLA air photography (S4).
Photographs taken of preceptory earthworks.
S. Massey (NLA), 24 September 2001.

29 July 1996. NLA air photography (S5).
Earthworks visible.
H. Clare (NLA), 30 April 2001.

7 August 1996. NLA air photography (S6).
Earthworks of commandery clearly visible.
S. Massey (NLA), 8 November 2001.

29 January 1998. NLA air photography (S7).
Earthworks of preceptory visible.
Aerial photographs record the 1998 NAU excavation located to the immediate south and east of the school.
S. Massey (NLA), 1 November 2001.

9 September 2008.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning the removal of trees, providing an all-weather covering to the ground service and upgrading the existing stock boundary.
See (S8) for further information
H. White (NLA) 7 January 2009

May 2011. Watching Brief.
Very few archaeological remains were encountered during excavation of 21 inspection pits and two shallow exploratory holes below slabs at St Peter and St Paul's CEVC School.
Masonry remains believed to be part of a flint wall, or the footings for a wall similar to those observed in the 1998 excavation (S2) were the most substantial remains encountered.
Other remains, to the west of the Scheduled area, were considered to be a modern sandpit.
See report (S10) for further details.
E. Ford (HES) 12 October 2012.

2006
EAA Occasional Paper No.21 published seE (S11).

Monument Types

  • DOVECOTE (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • DITCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED HOUSE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BUILDING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOSPITALLERS PRECEPTORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE PLATFORM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • KILN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NUNNERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • KILN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BELL (Undated)
  • KNIFE (Undated)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Undated)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Undated)
  • NAIL (Undated)
  • STIRRUP (Undated)
  • STRAP FITTING (Undated)
  • BLADE (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FLAKE (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BLADE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FLAKE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • MOULD (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BEAD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUTTON (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NAIL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PLANT REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POLLEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • QUERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SAMPLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • VESSEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SPUR (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • THIMBLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF9502 A-G,T-V,X-Z,AA-AL; TF9401 F.
---Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1907. The Distribution of Flint and Bronze Implements in Norfolk. Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society. Vol VIII Pt III (for 1906-1907) pp 393-409. p 407.
---Article in Serial: Clarke, R. R. and Myres, J. N. L. 1939. Norfolk in the Dark Ages, 400-800 A.D., Part I. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVII, Pt II pp 163- 214. p 166.
---Article in Serial: Clarke, R. R. 1940. Norfolk in the Dark Ages, 400-800 A.D., Part II. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVII Pt II pp 215-249. p 237.
---Article in Serial: Hawkins, E.. 1952. Proceedings at the meetings of the Archaeological Institute, December 5th 1851. The Archaeological Journal. Vol IX pp 89-121. p 116.
---Monograph: Page, W. (ed.). 1906. The Victoria History of Norfolk. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 2. pp 423-425.
---Documentary Source: Various. Additional drawings, engravings, etc. collected by Dawson Turner to illustrate Blomefield's "History of Norfolk"; 1846-1857. Add MS 23053-23062. Vol II (Add MS 23054).
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF458.
---Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1805-1810. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Volume Unknown.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF 9502ABP - ACB.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. TF 9502AN - AS.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1999. TF 9502ACU - ACW.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 90 SW 14.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Publication: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. pp 300, 302.
---Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1934. The Monastic Remains of Norfolk and Suffolk.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 240.
---Serial: 1959. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1959. No. 6. p 3.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Carbrooke.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Early Saxon. Carbrooke.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Carbrooke.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: BBQ2-7.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. Dig this playground - it's dead cool. 5 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. Revealed secrets of the fabled Knights of Carbrooke. 25 March.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Designation: Department Of The Environment. 1882-1984?. Department of the Environment Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF458.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Miscellaneous. Carbrooke (Great).
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Crowson, A. 1997. Evaluation Excavation at St Peter & St Paul VC Primary School, Carbrooke. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 276.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hutcheson, A. 1998. Excavations at St Peter and St Paul VC Primary School, Carbrooke, 1998. Post-Excavation Assessment of Archaeological Potential. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.
<S3>Aerial Photograph: TF 9502/ ABF, ABG, ABH, ABJ, ABK, ABL, ABM, ABN.
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 9502ACK - ACT.
<S5>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF9502/ACC - ACE.
<S6>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 9502ACX - ADG.
<S7>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). TF 9402D - M; TF 9502AM, AT - ABE.
<S8>Designation: DCMS. [?]-2016. Scheduled Monument Consent. SAM Consent. DNF458.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. and Crawford, R. 2002. Report on an Archaeological Evaluation at North Farm (West Plot), Carbrooke, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 777.
<S10>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bull, M. 2011. An Archaeological Watching Brief at St Peter and St Paul's CEVC School, Church Street, Carbrooke, Norfolk. NPS Archaeology. 2740.
<S11>Monograph: Hutcheson, A. and Noble, C. 2006. Excavations at the preceptory of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Carbrooke, Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology Occasional Papers. No 21.
<S12>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1998. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1997. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt I pp 193-210. p 195.
<S13>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1995. Carbrooke SMR8814. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S14>Illustration: Cushion, B. 1995. Plan of earthworks at Carbrooke SNR 8814. Film. 1:1000.
<S15>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 133.
<S16>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1996. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1995. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt III pp 397-412. p 399.

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