Record Details

NHER Number:3658
Type of record:Monument
Name:Great Barrow, Weasenham Lyngs


A bell barrow, one of best preserved Bronze Age round barrows in Norfolk and the largest of a group in the Weasenham Lyngs area. It is about 30m in diameter and stands just over 2m high with surrounding banks and a ditch.
In 2014 the monument was cleared of bracken, making its morphology much clearer. Several depressions were noted, at least some of which may be the scars of antiquarian investigations. A small assemblage of poor-quality flints and a single Bronze Age pottery sherd were also recovered during this work.


  • Photograph of the 'Great Barrow', a Bronze Age bell barrow.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Drawing of the 'Great Barrow', a Bronze Age bell barrow.  © D.E. Puddy


Grid Reference:TF 853 198
Map Sheet:TF81NE

Full description

Bell barrow (The Great Barrow of the group).
Weasenham Lyngs Grinsell's No. 5, recorded by him as 43m (140 feet) in diameter and 2.1m (7 feet) high.
Dr Puddy in 1935 recorded it as ditched with inner and outer banks, the outer 60cm (2 feet) high and inner 30cm (1 foot), barrow 2.1m (7 feet) high. From far perimeter to further side of barrow was forty four paces, to further inner bank fifty paces, to ditch fifty two paces, to far side ditch fifty six paces, to opposite perimeter sixty paces. He also recorded that there was a 'squatter's hut on east side' and a slight hollow on top, bracken covered.
E. Rose (NAU).

'Hut' is semicircular depression. 4.6m (15 feet) in diameter with bank 60cm (2 feet) wide.
A. J. Lawson (NAU).

February 1980.
Pit about 1m deep dug in centre of top by unknown person. Reported by owners (Weasenham Charity Lands) to NAU.
Visited by A.J. Lawson who found no finds, it exposed podsol. To be backfilled by farmer.
E. Ros (NAU).

Outer bank 3.5m wide, 60cm high, ditch 3m wide. 60cm deep, inner bank 2m wide, 30cm deep, berm 5m wide, mound 30m in diameter, 2.2m high. Depression in centre; bracken covered.
A. J. Lawson (NAU), March 1975.

November 1983.
No change.
J. Wyme (NAU).

Covered in bracken and scrubby elder. Old post and wire fence on top of outer bank. In poor condition suffering from eroded elder roots.
Plough cutting into outer bank.
H. Paterson (NAU), February 1991.

Bracken again in need of strimming, elder and bramble also regenerating. Rabbit disturbance bad on inner side of north
perimeter bank and also on summit of barrow. Undergrowth to be cut within next few weeks. Owner has 'pelleted' rabbits but problem will be investigated and any further infestation dealt with.
H. Paterson (NLA), 8 July 1994.

Visited to check effectiveness of Section 17 Agreement.
Grass cover continues to increase. Rabbit disturbance once again re-colonizing. Infestation worse than on previous visit.
H. Paterson (NLA), 17 March 1995.

Rabbit fencing breached by undermining in area 30m in clockwise direction from stile. One burrow on summit. Much bracken cover.
Further infestation on summit and either side of stile on outer bank, noted on subsequent visit. Contractor to deal with this.
H. Paterson (NLA), 26 February 1996.

Several breaches in fence by rabbits. Much bracken cover. One fence post knocked askew. Contractor to visit and start work soon as agreed in Section 17 grant.
H. Paterson (NLA), 5 October 1999.

30 August 2000. Visit. AM Number: 164.
Bracken and rosebay willow herb head high over site. Rabbit instrusion appears less.
Peter Loosley (Contractor) telephoned to say bracken will be cut in the near future. Spraying is impossible due to height of bracken.
H. Paterson (A&E), 30 August 2000.

February 2001. Visited.
Barrow under dead bracken and other annual weed. Due to the wet summer, bracken height rendered control by Azulox dangerous. Bracken will be cut when growth halts, followed by spraying. Ragwort will be pulled or spot treated and rabbits controlled.
A replacement Section 17 agreement will be implemented to accommodate extra management requirements.
H. Paterson (A&E), 2 February 2001.

Details, photographss, plans and correspondence in file.

19 July 1996. NLA air photography.
Banks and mound of the bell barrow can be seen clearly on aerial photographs.
S. Massey (NLA), 26 May 2001.

Section 17 Management Agreement signed 19 March 1999 (5 years).
See copy in file.
H. Paterson (A&E), 14 September 1999.

May 2002.
Damage has been caused to the enclosing post and wire and rabbit fencing. Twelve posts either loose or fallen, wire broken, mesh crumpled, stile broken. Secretary of Trustees written to asking that damaged fencing be reinstated. Minor rabbit infestation at present.
H. Paterson (A&E), 30 May 2002.

September 2004. Visit.
Annual strimming completed. No rabbit disturbance observed, although rabbit fencing collapsed for several metres. Possibility of Stewardship to be discussed at end of Section 17 Agreement.
H. Paterson (A&E), 13 September 2004.

Article missing from file [J. Yates, 12 November 2010].

February 2014. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of bracken litter removal from mound, ditches and banks.
The clearance of the monument made its morphology much clearer, creating an opportunity for a rudimentary earthwork survey. Several depressions and a possible spoil mound were noted, some of which was represent traces of either antiquarian investigations or more recent intrusions. A shallow sub-rectangular pit on the top of the mound may be the hollow recorded by Dr Puddy in 1935.
A walkover undertaken following completion of the clearance work recovered a small assemblage of worked flints from the surface of the monument. These flints are of poor quality with few recognisable tools and potentially relate to a later Bronze Age phase of activity. A single prehistoric pottery sherd was also recovered from the surface of the mound itself. This sherd is potentially from a Bronze Age vessel and as such is therefore potentially evidence that later cremations were inserted into the mound after its construction.
See report (S8) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 25 October 2016.

Monument Types

  • BELL BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds

  • BURNT FLINT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • CORE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • NOTCHED FLAKE (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Bronze Age - 2350 BC? to 701 BC?)

Protected Status

  • Management Statement
  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF8519 A-H,J-M,R-S,T,U.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF61.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF8519/V - Y.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 81 NE 3 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Weasenham (All Saints).
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: BZP 3, BZE 1.
<S1>Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1913. Norfolk Barrows. The Antiquary. Vol XLIX pp 416-423. p 423.
<S2>Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1936. Ancient Burial Mounds of England.. p 185.
<S3>Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1953. Ancient Burial Mounds of England.. pp 199, 203.
<S4>Monograph: East Anglian Archaeology. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol XII.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1941. [unknown]. 14 May.
<S7>Designation: Corbishley, M.. 1983. AM107.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Emery, G. 2014. Archaeological Monitoring & Earthwork Survey at Weasenham Great Barrow, Weasenham Lyngs, Weasenham All Saints, Norfolk. Norvic Archaeology. 49.

Related records

56103Part of: Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery, Weasenham Heath (Landscape)
3656Related to: Black Hill Bronze Age barrow (Monument)
3659Related to: Site of Bronze Age barrow (Monument)
3660Related to: Site of Bronze Age barrow, possible Roman cremation, and multi-period finds (Monument)

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