Record Details

NHER Number:6212
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bronze Age barrows, Salthouse Heath


The site of a Bronze Age round barrow and cremation cemetery is visible on 1946, 1986 and 1994 aerial photographs. The site is part of a much wider Bronze Age barrow cemetery, which covers Salthouse Heath and common (NHER 38629). Several mounds were excavated between 1936 and 1938, all of which were found to contain Late Bronze Age vessels and cremated human remains. A small number of Mesolithic/Early Neolithic and/or Neolithic worked flints were also recovered.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0697 4238
Map Sheet:TG04SE

Full description

1936-1938. Excavation.
30 small mounds identified in "north-east of triangle" on Salthouse Heath by A. Q. Watson. Several were subsequently excavated by A. Q. Watson and found to contain prehistoric pottery:
1936: Mound 'A' (at TG 0696 4267). Pot collapsed when removed. About 25cm (10 inches) across top inside. Fragments with cremated bones. Photograph of pot in situ.
1936: Fragments of another pot from similar mound.
1938: Base of a third pot excavated and removed to NCM for repair by [2]. [1] recorded inside dimensions as 25cm (10 inches) in diameter at top of vase; 18.5cm (7 1/4 inches) at bottom. Wrong reconstruction at Norwich Castle Museum.
1937: S. S. Piggott excavated similar pottery from mound east of saucer barrow.
Information from (S10).
The finds from Watson's investigations, including Bronze Age pottery and cremated human bones were later donated to the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1953.177.28). Pottery found by Piggott was also donated to the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1947.204). According to the museum's records Watson's finds also include a number of Neolithic worked flints. R. Jacobi recorded this collection as including 3 blades and 7 flakes (S11). The blades are apparently marked as being from "Pit dwelling number 2" and their inclusion in (S11) suggests they may well be Mesolithic/Early Neolithic.
The pottery recovered is described by (S10) as all "degenerate bucket urns in Late Bronze Age tradition (cf. Holland)" ("but perhaps Phase I of Iron Age in date" is crossed out). These vessels were found only a few inches below surface and all contained cremated human bones.
See (S1), (S2) and (S3) (called Kelling in error) and photographs by [1], [2] and [3].
Amended by P. Watkins (HES).

Field Visit.
Mounds obliterated by military activity 1939 to 1945. No sign of mounds, but may be unlocated due to gorse cover and bracken on heath.
A.J. Lawson (NAU), 30 January 1974.

Photographs and details in file.

December 1983.
Two of the mounds visible after fire south of NHER 6208.
J. Wymer (NAU).

May 1986.
Two more located 27m east of NHER 6209.
J. Wymer (NAU).

July 1986.
Six more mounds found plus three possibles.
J. Wymer (NAU).

The revised schedules for NHER 6208 and 6209 in 1995 place within the former the row of small mounds northeast of NHER 6208 found by J. Wymer (NAU) as above in 1986, and within the latter, one of the small mounds discovered by him in 1983.
Schedules filed under NHER 6208 and 6209.
E. Rose (NLA), 27 October 1995.

October 2002. Norfolk NMP.
The site of Bronze Age round barrow and cremation cemetery is visible on RAF aerial photographs from 1946 (S4), NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1986 (S5) and OS aerial photographs from 1994 (S6). The Bronze Age barrow and cremation cemetery is usually quite hard to discern from the aerial perspective, owing to the relatively small size of the mounds and the heavy vegetation cover on the heath. The location information provided is taken from NLA oblique aerial photographs from 1986 (S5) where the position of mounds was marked on the ground so they could be identified from the air and later plotted. Once the photographs have been rectified the location of the mounds are as follows;TG 06806 42434, TG 06812 42432, TG 06817 42413, TG 06817 42408, TG 06832 42398, TG 06841 42424, TG 06832 42449, TG 06868 42441. The previous records and maps for the site have indicated that these small mounds, all approximately 4 to 5m across, cover a large area on heath. On the 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S4) several possible mound locations were identified, however, these are not definitely barrows. The features visible on the aerial photographs may be clumps of higher vegetation or areas of differential colour.
These were not mapped, however, the possible barrow sites are as follows;
TG 06863 42421, TG 06880 42423, TG 06865 42402, TG 06885 42379, TG 06900 42379, TG 06931 42438, TG 06947 42447, TG 06939 42427, TG 06940 42428, TG 06933 42375, TG 06956 42386, TG 06998 42363, TG 06991 42324.
At TG 06994 42487 is a possible circular slightly raised area 7.5 to 8m in diameter. It is situated to the immediate east of NHER 6208, which is a larger embanked barrow. The smaller circular feature has the same appearance of the central mound of the barrow on the 1946 RAF aerial photographs (S4), therefore it may also be a barrow site. By referencing back to the existing SMR map it is clear that a barrow has been located on the heath to the east of the main site, on the other side of the road at approximately TG 0711 4225. A raised, roughly circular mound was identified within this area on the OS aerial photographs from 1994 (S6). Again, it is not possible to tell if this is a raised earthwork or clump of high vegetation, however, it was mapped just in case. Further investigation on the ground would be beneficial for all of these ‘possible’ locations provided. The mound on the photographs appears to be centred on TG 07134 42272, with a diameter of 9.5m. This is admittedly larger than the other mounds mentioned and may well not be the mound originally indicated on the sketch map.
S. Massey (NMP), 8 January 2003.

May 2003. Field observations. NGRs obtained by GPS and shown as points on GIS.
Ten certain, probable or possible mini-barrows found.
See note in file.
D. Gurney (NLA), 18 June 2003.

August 2003.
Further field survey has suggested a further twenty four possible locations for mini-barrows. Shown as points within the main polygon on GIS.
See letter, plans and photographs in file.
D. Gurney (NLA), 12 September 2003.

March 2005. Following further clearance work east of NHER 6208, eight further possible mini-mounds noted.
See (S7).
D. Gurney (NLA), 5 April 2005.

January 2012.
Map of all known mini-barrow locations produced from GPS points, sketch maps, NMP data and other information.
See (S8).
D. Robertson (HES), 26 January 2012.

March 2012.
Section 17 agreement signed.
See (S9).
D. Robertson (HES), 4 April 2012.

October-November 2012. Topographic survey and partial excavation of one mini-barrow, funded by the 2012 Section 17 agreement (S9).
The excavation revealed that this was a natural feature, and it has therefore been recorded separately under NHER 60708.
D. Robertson (HES), 1 November 2012 and A. Cattermole (HES), 30 April 2015.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • BARROW CEMETERY (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • CREMATION CEMETERY (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • CREMATION (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC? to 3001 BC?)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished Report: Wymer, J. 1988. A Further Report on the Condition of Barrows in the County and the Question of their Preservation.
---Aerial Photograph: TG0642 A,B,C,E,F,G-U,V.
---Article in Monograph: Lawson, A. J. 1980. The evidence for Later Bronze Age settlement and burial in Norfolk. Settlement and Society in the British Late Bronze Age. Barrett, J. and Bradley, R. BAR British Series 83 pp 271-293. No 18; Fig 4C-E.
---Designation: English Heritage. Scheduling Report.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Correspondence: Piggott, S.. 1937. Letter from Stuart Piggott to Mr. Watson regarding barrows on Salthouse Heath.. 02 November.
---Correspondence: Hawkes, C. F. C.. 1939. Letter from C.F.C. Hawkes to Sainty regarding barrows on Salthouse Heath.. 02 October.
---Photograph: Unknown. 1936. Photograph of an early Iron Age pot found on Salthouse Heath. Sepia. print.
---Photograph: Unknown. 1938. Photograph of a pot found on Salthouse Heath (In Situ). Black & white. print.
---Photograph: Unknown. 1938. Photograph of cinerary urn from Salthouse Heath (Inside showing cremated remains). Black & white. print.
---Photograph: Unknown. 1950. Photograph of urn from Salthouse Heath. Black & white. print.
---Photograph: Wymer, J.. 1983. CXV, Frame 14. Small mound on Salthouse Heath..
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF153 and DNF154.
---Designation: Department Of The Environment. 1882-1984?. Department of the Environment Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF153.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF153 and DNF154.
<S1>Newspaper Article: 1939. East Anglian Magazine. vol.IV p.127. p 127.
<S2>Article in Serial: Clarke, R. R. 1939. The Iron Age in Norfolk and Suffolk. The Archaeological Journal. Vol XCVI pp 1-113. p 20.
<S3>Article in Serial: Wake, T. 1942. Some Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVIII Pt I pp 23-30. p 26.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK 1571 3165-6 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TG 0642B, TG 0742A).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1986. NHER TG 0742B (NLA 175/DAW/1) 10-JUL-1986.
<S6>Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1994. OS/94172 028-9 14-JUN-1994 (NAPL).
<S7>Unpublished Document: Loveday, R.. 2005. Letter and plots.
<S8>Map: Robertson, D.. 2012. Mini-barrows on Salthouse Heath.
<S9>Unpublished Document: Norfolk County Council. 2011-2012. Norfolk Monuments Management Project Section 17 agreement.
<S10>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Salthouse.
<S11>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 10330.

Related records

60708Parent of: Natural feature, Salthouse Heath (Negative evidence)
38629Part of: Salthouse Barrow Cemetery (Monument)

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