Record Details

NHER Number:50909
Type of record:Monument
Name:Soilmarks of a road and boundaries of either Roman or medieval to post medieval date

Summary

The soilmarks relating to a road and associated boundaries and extraction areas are visible on aerial photographs. These features are possibly associated with the former Norwich Road or Waye, which ran from Sparham to the Billingford Road (NHER 14228) and is thought be either Roman or medieval date. The NMP evidence can provide no conclusive evidence of the route being Roman in origin, but it does perhaps suggest a pre-medieval origin for some elements.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 03017 20284
Map Sheet:TG02SW
Parish:BAWDESWELL, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK
BYLAUGH, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

February 2008. Norfolk NMP.
The soilmarks relating to a road and associated boundaries and extraction areas are visible on aerial photographs (S1-S5). These features are possibly associated with the former Norwich Road or Waye, which ran from Sparham to the Billingford Road (NHER 14228) and is thought be either Roman or medieval date. The NMP evidence can provide no conclusive evidence of the route being Roman in origin, but it does perhaps suggest a pre-medieval origin for some elements. The site is centred on TG 0293 2032.

The road (NHER 14228) is marked on an Estate map of 1600 (S6), but has been suggested that it may have Roman origins. The soilmarks recorded under this site either relate to part of that road and parish boundary or appear to represent associated parallel boundaries and divisions to either side of the route. On the 1600 map the land to either side of the road is depicted as being open common land. This would then suggest that the boundaries running parallel either pre-date the medieval common or relate to a later phase of post medieval enclosure. By around 1700 the land to the south of the road appears to have been enclosed, as depicted on an estate map if around 1700-25 (S7), with only open grazing remaining to the north, none of the parallel boundaries visible on aerial photographs appear to directly relate to those depicted on any maps postdating this 1700-25 map. This could indicate that at least some of these linears pre-date the medieval common and it is therefore feasible that some may have Roman date origins.

It is interesting to note the similarity of the size and plan of the curved ditch or hollow way which leads from the straight line of the road and parish boundary towards the Billingford Road, to another curved hollow way visible as earthworks 150m to the west (see NHER 50893 for details). The divergence of the hollow way or track from the straight line indicated by the parish boundary at this point, as depicted on the 1700-25 map (the 1600 map is not of sufficiently clear to tell whether this was also the case 100 earlier) could again indicate the medieval to post medieval road ran alongside an earlier straight boundary, which could indeed be a Roman road that joined with the definite Roman road to the north (NHER 2796).

In the centre of the site is a group of soilmarks, which would appear to represent a section of the road, however the line of the linears is slightly off from the alignment that would be expected for the road. This divergence could indicate the incorporation of an earlier feature or a later amendment to the site. To the north of the road at this point is a large sub-rectangular pit-like feature. It is possible that this soilmark relates to former extraction, possibly of gravel or clay deposits, from the common and is likely to post-date the road itself. It is possibly that it was the removal and transportation of this extracted material that resulted in the line of the track being altered.
S. Massey (NMP), 28 February 2008.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK)? (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY BANK (Unknown date)
  • ROAD (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY BANK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD?)
  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD?)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • BOUNDARY BANK (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • HOLLOW WAY? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • ROAD (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/100 5055 30-MAR-1946 (NHER TG 0220A).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4124-7 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4127 16-APR-1946 (NHER TG 0120C).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1428 4136 16-APR-1946 (NHER TG 0320B).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1970. CUCAP RC8-P 131-2 09-FEB-1970.
<S6>Map: 1600. Beck Hall Billingford Estate Map.
<S7>Map: 1700-25. Estate map of Beck Hall Farm, Billingford.

Related records

14228Part of: Cropmarks of undated, possibly Roman, road (Monument)
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