Record Details

NHER Number:9688
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of undated earthwork 'entrenchment'


An 'entrenchment' is shown on a map of Mousehold Heath of 1585. There is now no visible sign of any earthworks on the site. A curving ditch feature has been recorded, however, approximately 140m to the south of the mapped position of NHER 9688, which has been interpreted as possible evidence of ‘entrenchment’ during the medieval to post medieval period (see NHER 51933).

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2873 1183
Map Sheet:TG21SE

Full description

'Entrenchment' marked around Gidding Heath on (S1), copy in (S2).
No trace on ground or on aerial photographs.
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

Marking on (S3) revised by A. Gregory (NAU) from enlarging copy of (S1) in (S2), and checked against original by E. Rose (NAU).
Ditch found roughly on course of western end as formerly marked on 2nd October 1979, which proved to be not deeper than topsoil, is therefore probably nothing to do with this.
E. Rose (NAU) 19 April 1985.

(S4) quotes (S5) as saying that in 1587 the Privy Council proposed that a fortified camp be set up on Mousehold Heath. However (S5) actually says that the men should assemble on Mountsurrey with no mention of fortifications. Mountsurrey was the name given to the area now known as Gas Hill so it seems improbable there is any connection with site NHER 9687 or NHER 9688.
E. Rose (NLA) 5 November 1998.

November 2008. Norfolk NMP.
A linear ditch feature (NHER 51933) is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs (S6). It is situated 140m to the south of the mapped position of NHER 9688. It is therefore unclear whether it represents part of the entrenchment, but may be a contemporary feature.
E. Bales (NMP), 17 November 2008.

March-June 2009. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometer survey on proposed line of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (Site R7).
The area examined coincided with the point where the originally postulated line of the 'entrenchment' turns through ninety degrees (c. TG 2825 1214).
No potentially archaeologically-significant remains were identified, although it should be noted that subsequent work at this location suggests the results of this survey were not particularly reliable.
See report (S7) and NHER 63455 for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 16 June 2019.

January 2019. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometer survey of proposed development site adjacent to Green Lane East.
Although the originally postulated line of this feature crosses the field examined at c. TG 2857 1218 there was no evidence for associated remains. This would support the suggestion that the 'entrenchment' lay to the south of this field, its line probably marked by the extensive cropmark recorded as NHER 51933.
See report (S8) and NHER 63455 for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 16 June 2019.

April 2019. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of proposed development site adjacent to Green Lane East (which had been subject to geophysical survey in January 2019).
This phase of work also revealed no evidence for the 'entrenchment'. As noted above these negative results support the suggest that this feature had run to the south of its previously suggested line.
See report (S9) and NHER 63455 for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 1 April 2021.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • EARTHWORK (Unknown date)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---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 - Miscellaneous. Plumstead, Great and Little/Thorpe St Andrew/Rackheath/Sprowston.
<S1>Map: 1589. Mousehold Heath.
<S2>Article in Serial: Rye, W. 1907. Earthworks at Mousehold Heath. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XVI p 91. p 91.
<S3>Map: NCM. NCM Record Map.
<S4>Publication: Kent, P. 1988. Fortifications of East Anglia. p 177.
<S5>Article in Serial: O'Neil, B. H. St.J. 1940. The Fortification of Weybourne Hope in 1588. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVII Pt II pp 250-262. p 252.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1976. MAL 76053 92 29-JUN-1976 (NMR).
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Railton, M. 2009. Geophysical Surveys of the Proposed Route of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, Norfolk. North Pennines Archaeology. 868/09.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Davies, R. 2019. Geophysical Survey Report. Land South of Green Lane East, Rackheath, Norfolk. SUMO Survey.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Reid, G. 2019. Land at Green Lane East, Rackheath, Norfolk. A Programme of Archaeological Mitigatory Trenching. Pre-Construct Archaeology. R13656.

Related records

51933Parent of: Site of possible medieval to post medieval linear ditch feature (Monument)

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