Record Details

NHER Number:5304
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced Palaeolithic handaxes, Hockwold/Hockwold Fen (Hockwold cum Wilton, poorly located)


At least two museums hold poorly-provenanced Palaeolithic flint handaxes from the Hockwold area. It is possible that at least some of these objects were from a particularly productive site at Wilton (NHER 5303). Three handaxes in the British Museum Sturge Collection are recorded as being from 'Hockwold Fen' and it is also possible that these are actually from the Palaeolithic site at Shrub Hill, Feltwell (NHER 5292).

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Full description

At least two museums hold Palaeolithic handaxes that are recorded as having been recovered in or around Hockwold cum Wilton, but with little or no additional information regarding their provenance. It is possible that at least some of these implements were recovered at a site in the Wilton area, which is known to have produced a number of Palaeolithic object (NHER 5303).

British Museum:
The British Museum holds 3 handaxes that are recorded simply as being from Hockwold. These are amongst a collection of 5 handaxes in the Sturge Collection (2011,8109.736)- the other 3 are marked "Wilton" and recorded under NHER 5303. These objects are noted in (S1) and are the 3 unprovenanced handaxes from Hockwold listed by Roe (S2). They are recorded by (S3) as being from "Hockwold Fen", which is presumably the reason why they were listed as such by Wymer (S5). Wymer suggests that these handaxes may well have come from the quarry pits at Shrub Hill (Feltwell; NHER 5292). It is clear from Wymer's record cards (S4) that these 3 handaxes were erroneous also including in totals that he gave in (S5) for material from the site at Wilton. At least two were found during the 1880s.

Nottingham University:
Roe (S2) also lists another unprovenanced handaxe from Hockwold that is held by the Nottingham University. This object is described in Wymer's records as sharp and broken, but was not included in (S5).

These finds are also listed in (S6) and (S7), although no additional information is given.

Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 17 November 2013 and 21 November 2014.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC to 40001 BC)

Associated Finds

  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Publication: Smith, R. A. 1931. The Sturge Collection: an illustrated selection of flints from Britain bequeathed in 1919 by William Allen Sturge. pp 126-127.
<S2>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8. p 233.
<S3>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S4>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. Hockwold cum Wilton (Hockwold Fen).
<S5>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 81.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: 1996. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Regions 9 (Great Ouse) and 12 (Yorkshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds). Wessex Archaeology. LLO-4, No. 32.
<S7>Website: TERPS online database. Site 23043.

Related records - none

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