Record Details

NHER Number:15909
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval and post-medieval features and multi-period finds from Ruslene, Connaught Park


Grounds of former vicarage house, demolished in 1744. A number of small-scale excavations were undertaken here between 1980 and 1984. This work identified two gravel surfaces and a number of medieval clay-lined possible storage pits. It has been suggested that the site may have been a quay during the medieval period. These excavations also recovered a range of finds, including a Lower Palaeolithic flint handaxe; burnt flints; Roman, Late Saxon, medieval, medieval/post-medieval and post-medieval pottery sherds; a Roman roof tile; a possible medieval malting tile and various other post-medieval and undatable objects. Additional Late Saxon and medieval to post-medieval pottery sherds were recovered at the site in 2005.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 2398 9441
Map Sheet:TM29SW

Full description

Grounds of former vicarage house (demolished 1744). Site of tithe barn?

February 1980. Excavation.
Small-scale excavations on what was believed to be site of tithe barn and possible north-south road. This work exposed a rammed flint courtyard surface at a depth of approximately 18" (0.46m). Finds recovered included 2 burnt flints, 1 late medieval/transitional pottery sherd, post-medieval and recent pottery sherds, brick, tile, oyster shells and an object with conical holes identified by W. Milligan (NCM) as a malting tile. According to the original file notes these objects were all found above the flint surface, although it is clear from the finder's dissertation (see below) that at least some (including the malting tile) were recovered from underlying layers.
W. Milligan (NCM), February 1980. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 January 2014.

July 1980. Excavation.
Further excavations identified a series of interconnecting holes between 0.46m and 0.75m deep; each lined with clay or flint and containing medieval pottery sherds. Lead glazed earthenware sherds were recovered from overlying layers and sherds of late medieval/transitional pottery were found nearby. Plan of features held by NCM.
W. Milligan (NCM), 6 August 1980. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 January 2014.

August 1981. Excavation.
Excavation by stream at foot of garden. Finds recovered included 2 sherds of Roman pottery (late 4th century Mayen ware rim sherd and greyware sherd), 1 Roman tegula fragment, Late Saxon and early medieval pottery sherds and shell-tempered sherds of unspecified date. The Mayen ware sherd was donated to the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1982.307).
W. Milligan (NCM), 19 August 1982. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 January 2014.

1982. Excavation.
Further excavations. 3 medieval pottery sherds recovered (developed rim sherd and body sherds).

1984. Excavation.
Further excavations to a depth of approximately 3ft (0.91m). The lower deposits produced Late Saxon Thetford-type ware pottery sherds, medieval pottery sherds (mostly unglazed) and late medieval/transitional pottery sherds. The top 12" (0.3m) of soil contained worked flints and post-medieval pottery sherds.
W. Milligan (NCM), 15 November 1984.

See copy of extract from finder's dissertation (S1) in file for further information on the above work and the documentary evidence for the site. The flint surface is described in greater detail and it is noted that that a second, earlier flint surface was encountered at a depth of 0.67m. It is suggested that the clay-lined features were storage pits and that the site may have been a quay during the medieval period. The finds recovered from beneath the upper flint surface are listed as including Late Saxon pottery sherds (Thetford ware and St Neots ware), medieval pottery, the malting tile (described as 13th century), a Roe deep antler and a number of prehistoric 'pot boilers'. It is also noted that a Palaeolithic handaxe was recovered, this found lying on a gravel deposit beneath the lower flint surface. This object was subsequently examined by J. J. Wymer in 1986 and identified as a stained ovate Lower Palaeolithic handaxe. It is briefly described on (S2) and also listed in (S3) and (S4).
E. Rose (NLA), 12 March 1990. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 January 2014.

Documentary research and fieldwalking in garden of Old Vicarage (demolished in 1744).
Antler type knife cut at proximal end.
Seventy medieval unglazed sherds, four Glazed Red Earthenware post medieval sherds, one Late Medieval Transitional, two late medieval/early post medieval roofing tiles.
May duplicate some finds above; information from [1].
A. Cattermole (NLA), 24 May 2005.

May 2005. Surface collection in garden of Ruslene.
7 Late Saxon pottery sherds.
17 medieval pottery sherds.
13 medieval/post-medieval pottery sherds.
11 post-medieval pottery sherds.
See list in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 15 July 2005.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TITHE BARN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WHARF (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • KNIFE (Undated)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEGULA (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Cubitt, M.. 1974. Hempnall: A Landscape History. (Dissertation)..
<S2>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. Hempnall.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: 1997. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Regions 8 (East Anglian Rivers) and 11 (Trent Drainage). Wessex Archaeology. p 67.
<S4>Website: TERPS online database. Site 22658.

Related records - none

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