Record Details

NHER Number:19279
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmarks of Late Iron Age to Roman settlement

Summary

Cropmarks visible on aerial photographs of a Late Iron Age to Roman settlement. The site covers a large area and consists of rectilinear enclosures, trackways and field systems, plus a possible roundhouse.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 6841 3589
Map Sheet:TF63NE
Parish:HEACHAM, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

THIS SITE HAS BEEN EXTENDED AND NOW INCLUDES CROPMARKS FORMERLY RECORDED UNDER NHER 19280.

5 August 1977.
Ring ditch and linear features visible on (S5).
S. Newman (NAU) 10 June 1983.

April 2002. Norfolk NMP.
Large site spreading from TF 6786 3631 to TF 6825 3544, forming a curvilinear swathe of cropmarks along the 25m and 35m OD contours, visible on Ordnance Survey aerial photography from 1966 (S1) and NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1974 (S2) to (S4) and 1977 (S5). The site extended massively to take in whole of field and field to northeast on opposite side of the road (formerly SMR 19280). The site covers a large area and consists of rectilinear enclosures, trackways and field systems. The enclosures and trackways to the north are very well planned and the concentration of pits suggests an area of fairly dense activity and settlement and fields. The enclosures to the south are less coherent to a plan, possibly indicating that this area of the site developed over time. A possible roundhouse is visible within these enclosures. The only finds in the vicinity have been Neolithic flints and axes. The morphology of the enclosures and field systems would suggest that they are Romano-British, although the earlier elements of the site, especially to the south may be Late Iron Age in date.

The northwestern area of the site, centred on TF 6816 3606, consists of a series of co-joined rectilinear enclosures and a trackway. The trackway runs from TF 6829 3602 to TF 6800 3623, it is 360m long and between 4 to 5m wide along most of its length. Although it opens out to the western end. At this point several linears seem to converge, creating the appearance of a funnelled trackway. The northern ditch defining the trackway may continue to TF 6791 3633. Visible to the north of the trackway are three sides of rectilinear enclosure at TF 6826 3608, it is at least 63m by 45m. It's ditches are 3m wide, much larger than the surrounding enclosures.

To the south of the trackway are a series of rectilinear enclosures. These appear to be located on either side of a central 'passage way' or trackway defined by ditches, perpendicular to the main trackway. The areas to either side of this feature are divided into regular rectangular plots and enclosures, varying from 20m by 50m to up to 95m by 25m. One of these enclosures sits runs alongside the main trackway and is divided into three sections. The eastern area, TF 6825 3602, forms a rectangular enclosure, which appears to have a narrow passage/walkway leading into it. It appears that this area can also be entered directly from the trackway, as gap can be seen in the ditch.
Two small, roughly square areas can be identified, one at TF 6809 3608, approximately 23m ², the second at TF 6815 3600, 18m by 24m. Both of these features have internal sub-divisions. Two clusters of pits can also be identified, one at TF 6811 3605 and another at TF 6823 3600. It is likely that this marks areas of activity and deposition, possible related to occupation or industry within the site. A bank runs from TF 6812 3609 to TF 6810 3616. It is 80m long and 2m wide. It appears to cut across the ditched elements of the site and is therefore probably later. A pit or post alignment was recorded to the immediate north, SMR 26829. It is not clear how it relates to these enclosures and trackways.

The trackways and linears continue to the east and are recorded on the opposite side of the road. Here another cluster of cropmarks is centred at TF 6837 3589. These consist of several small rectilinear enclosures of varying sizes; the largest is at least 63m by 31m. Two sets of parallel curvilinear features are centred at TF 6843 3589. It is possible that these are trackways of some sort, although the northern example has a butt end. To the north is group © at TF 6850 3605. These linears appear to be part of an enclosure, possible double ditched and a 'T'-junction of two trackways. To the south, centred at TF6838 3568, is another group of enclosures and linears. The main cropmarks visible are possibly three sides of a rectilinear enclosure, at TF 6831 3563, which is at least 98m by 115m, with rounded corners. The interior of this appears to be subdivided by ditches. A cluster of pits is visible at TF 6829 3561. At TF 6835 3566 a line of pits have been placed alongside a ditch.

The ring ditch at TF 6833 3561, appears to be slightly oval in plan, with a maximum diameter of 10.5m. The ditch varies from 0.3m to 1.2m in width. It is possible that this is a Bronze Age barrow, however due to its small size and location within an enclosure, it is possible that it is a drip gully for a roundhouse. To the east, sharing the same alignment as the enclosure, is a large linear, 4m across, running from TF 6836 3560 to TF 6840 3579. This feature curves around to the northwest. This shape is shared by several other linears to the west. The contours drop down into a slight gully at this point and it is possible that the topography have structured the linears. However, these could also be natural features.
Additional elements of slightly irregular system of co-joined enclosures can also be seen, approximately 20m by 30m in size, which appear to be slightly at odds with the rest of the cropmarks. These could be part of a field system of a different date, possibly earlier. To the east, at TF 6852 3574, is an irregular shaped enclosure, co-joined to a linear and possibly a trackway. To the south, separated by the Gravelpit Belt, are several curvilinear features, at TF 6830 3548. One of which is quite broad, up to 4.5m wide in places. Several rectilinear elements are also visible, one of which is double ditched.
S. Massey (NMP), 8 April 2002.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • SITE (Unknown date)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • DOUBLE DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 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)
  • PIT (Late Iron Age to Roman - 100 BC to 409 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (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)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1966. OS/66118 190-1 01-JUN-1966.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1974. SMR TF 6835Y (NLA/7/ABY3) 25-JUN-1974.
<S3>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1974. SMR TF 6836E (NLA/6/ABL15) 21-JUN-1974.
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1974. SMR TF 6836Vb (NLA/6/SLIDE) 21-JUN-1974.
<S5>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.. 1977. SMR TF 6835AP (NLA/58/ALS10) 05-AUG-1977.

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 - 2021 Norfolk Historic Environment Service