Record Details

NHER Number:21269
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of possible medieval trackway east of Martham


A double ditched boundary or trackway (probably the latter), possibly dating to the medieval or early post medieval period, is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs. The slightly C-shaped ditches lie parallel to the lane approximately 70m to their southwest. Like the lane, the trackway defined by the ditches may once have divided and provided access to the fields around Martham. As well as the C-shape of the cropmarks, which is reminiscent of medieval strip fields, the fact that the ditches are ignored by boundaries depicted on the parish Tithe Map suggests that they are of medieval or early post medieval date.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4594 1839
Map Sheet:TG41NE

Full description

29 July 1983. NAU air photography.
Positive cropmarks.
Ring ditch (very faint) and adjacent parallel ditches of trackway. Ditch at right angles to track aligns on ring ditch.
D.A. Edwards (NAU) 11 March 1985.

Numbered principally for parallel ditches.
'Ring ditch is very dubious'.
Right angled ditch seems to be old field boundary as shown on (S1) 6" OS, but change of field shapes makes accurate location difficult.
E. Rose (NAU) 22 April 1985

March 2006. Norfolk NMP.
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 464 181 to TG 4593 1839.

The trackway (or ‘parallel ditches’) described above is visible as a cropmark on an aerial photograph (S2), between TG 4583 1847 and TG 4606 1831. Its curvilinear shape, which is characteristic of medieval strip fields, its parallel alignment with the lane 70m to the southwest, and the fact that it is ignored by rectilinear field boundaries depicted on Martham Tithe Map (S3), all suggest that it may be a medieval (or at least early post medieval) feature. If this postulated date is correct, the trackway presumably divided and provided access to the pre-Parliamentary Enclosure pattern of fields, which would have once surrounded Martham.

As described above, the ‘right angled ditch’ corresponds with a field boundary depicted on historic Ordnance Survey maps, e.g. (S4), and consequently it has not been mapped by the NMP. Other linear cropmarks visible on the same aerial photograph cannot be distinguished from recent agricultural activity or the underlying geology of the site with enough certainty to warrant mapping them. Similarly, the archaeological origin of the postulated ring ditch, which is barely visible, is extremely doubtful and it too has not been mapped.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 15 March 2006.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1883. First edition six inch map.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1983. NHER TG 4618A (NLA 137/ATQ16) 29-JUL-1983.
<S3>Map: Manning, J.. 1842. Martham Tithe Map. No scale.
<S4>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. Ordnance Survey second edition 25" (1902-7) Sheet LIV. 5. 25" to 1'.

Related records - none

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