Record Details

NHER Number:39859
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of medieval fields, enclosures and possible settlement on Trafford Estate land at Stanninghall


The remains of medieval fields and possible settlement enclosures, together with other, undated features and a post medieval borrow pit, have been identified at this site, through a combination of evaluation, excavation and air photo transcription. The site is quite extensive, but the features, including the possible settlement, are concentrated in its southeastern corner, adjacent to Stanninghall Road. Provisional dating from this part of the site suggests that it was in use in the 12th to 13th centuries, although other parts of the site appear to have continued in use into the 14th century. A possible association with the deserted settlement of Stanninghall (NHER 8059), whose church (NHER 44213) stood a short distance to the south, has been postulated.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 25759 18263
Map Sheet:TG21NE

Full description

October 2001. Desk-based Assessment.
Assessment of proposed mineral extraction area.
Throughout the medieval and post medieval period the site was used for agricultural purposes with a mixture of both arable and pasture within the proposed area of extraction. It appeared that the current pattern of field boundaries had been established by the end of the 18th century. Evidence from aerial photographs suggested activity within this area in the prehistoric and Roman periods. The site of a post medieval barn (now demolished) within the proposed area of extraction was identified from cartographic sources.
See (S1) for further details.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 23 October 2007.

November-December 2003. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetic susceptibility survey of proposed mineral extraction site followed by detailed magnetometry surveys of six selected areas (Blocks 1-6).
No areas of obvious archaeological potential were identified.
See report (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3).
J. Allen (NLA), 5 January 2003. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 10 June 2015.

January-February 2004. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of proposed mineral extraction area. Contexts 1-10109 used.
66 features were recorded during trial trenching. These comprise linear ditches and gullies (probably representing field boundaries) and pits, distributed across the site but with a greater concentration in the south-east. There were few finds, so the field systems, field boundaries and enclosures that these features represent are, at this stage, undated. Pottery was recovered from four linear features and a pit, all of which appear to be medieval in date. The field system might be of early medieval date, but other linear features could be prehistoric or Roman. Two of the four pits examined included finds of 13th century date, one with burnt clay and charcoal and the other perhaps a well. These pits may indicate medieval activity and/or settlement in the vicinity. A large feature was identified as a borrow pit from which a post medieval brick was recovered.
See report (S4) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S5).
D. Gurney (NLA), 28 March 2006.

August-October 2007. Excavation.
Excavation of mineral extraction area (Phase 1).
Soil stripping revealed a series of ditched enclosures of varying size and shape. The features were interpreted as 12th- 13th century field boundaries due to pottery dating evidence. Four groups of enclosures were identified. In the middle of the site small gullies forming a north to south and east to west pattern were found to predate some of the other features and therefore may belong to the earliest phase of enclosure ditches. A second field/ enclosure system was identified to te east of the site, and may have been associated with the first group of features. They formed a north to south 'ladder' pattern of rectangular enclosures. The layout of these fields may have been influenced by the alignement of the Stanninghall Road, which would give access between the fields and the Deserted Medieval Village at Stanninghall. A sinuous re-cut boundary ditch extended from the centre of the site down to the south- west corner where it formed the baseline for a series of four small rectangular enclosures. In the centre of the site a large, curvilinear eclosure and an abutting ditch system were identified, and appears to represent the latest phase of enclosure on the site.A large number of 'tree pits' were present across the excavated area, which suggests general land clearance. No artefacts were recovered from these pits so they remain undated. The foundations of a small three-sided rectangular structure comprising a flint and clay wall within a shallow trench was identified. No dating evidence was recovered from this structure. A field ditch containing post- medieval finsd was present extending underneath the hedgerow and probably represents the early development of the exisiting field boundaries.
See report (S6) for further details
H. White (NLA), 3 April 2009

January 2008. Norfolk NMP.
Across much of the area subject to desk-based assessment, evaluation, and excavation, as described above, and for some distance beyond, linear and rectilinear cropmarks are visible on aerial photographs (S7)-(S11), centred around TG 2575 1821. For the most part these are extremely fragmentary and their date is difficult to ascertain. However they follow the same orientation as, and in some places correspond to, features identified in the evaluation (see report (S4)) and excavation (see interim plan (S6)), and therefore a medieval date can be postulated for the group as a whole. At the same time, a number of slight changes in alignment are apparent amongst the cropmarks, and these could reflect more than one phase of activity being represented. A group of ditches visible across the southern portion of the site, which share the orientation of the modern field boundaries, are almost certainly of post medieval date and have been recorded separately (NHER 50788). Also, the origin, nature and significance of some of the cropmarks are uncertain, particularly those in the northern part of the site, and therefore some caution is needed in their interpretation. This is also the case with some of the features mapped at the southern end of the site (around TG 2577 1793), where it may be significant that ditches identified in the excavation do not show up well as cropmarks when compared to other ditches mapped from the aerial photographs for which no corresponding feature was identified in the excavation.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 9 January 2008.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • GULLY (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • SETTLEMENT? (Unknown date)
  • WELL? (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman to Late Saxon - 43 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DROVE ROAD? (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TRACKWAY? (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • SAMPLE (Unknown date)
  • QUERN (Roman to Late Saxon - 43 AD? to 1065 AD?)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Illustration: Northamptonshire Archaeology. 2007. Horstead Survey 03-10-07.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Atkinson, S. and Johns, R. 2001. Trafford Estate Proposed Quarry. Cultural Heritage Desk-Based Assessment. Entec UK Limited.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Webb, A. 2003. Land at Trafford Estate near Horstead, Norfolk. Geophysical Survey. Archaeological Services WYAS. 1194.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2004. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2003. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt III pp 573-588. p 579.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Morris, S. and Pears, B. 2004. Archaeological Evaluation at Trafford Estate, Horstead, Norfolk. Northamptonshire Archaeology.
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2005. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2004. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt IV pp 751-763. p 755.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Burrow, A. 2008. Archaeological Excavations at Trafford Estate, Horstead. Extraction Phase 1. Interim Assessment Report. Northamptonshire Archaeology. 08/130.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1636 4198-9 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1636 4216-7 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1974. NHER TG 2519U-V (NLA 3/AAZ41-2) 17-JUN-1974.
<S10>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1981. NHER TG 2518A-C (CUCAP CPF72-4) 14-SEP-1981.
<S11>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1990. OS/90224 213-5 31-JUL-1990 (NMR).

Related records

8059Related to: Stanninghall deserted medieval village (Monument)
Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service