Record Details

NHER Number:12883
Type of record:Monument
Name:Edgefield Little Wood


A medieval wood, with medieval wood boundary banks and ditches. In the early 17th century these earthworks were referred to as already 'ancient'.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 107 341
Map Sheet:TG13SW

Full description

Norfolk County Council forestry workers report boundary banks and 'a massive central bisecting bank, probably recut prehistoric'.
A lawsuit of 1618 states 'In Little Wood is an area called ye Lawn, surrounded by ancient earthworks and divided from ye Great Wood by ye Great Dyke'.
The Great Wood was grubbed up in about 1800.
A former wood to north called Priory Wood was mentioned in Domesday and belonged to Binham Priory; it was given to Sir William Bewde by Henry VIII.
Information from Norfolk County Council.
P. Lambley (NCM), October 1977.

This seems to be the same as the wood 'about a mile east of the Pig's Public House', now the Bacon Arms, Frere Arms on (S1), but Bacon was the old name, mentioned in (S2).
(S2) also describes pits like the Weybourne pits, forming a rough circle 73m to 82m yards diameter; in October 1850 they were being levelled for planting.
Visited E. Rose (NAU) 11 May 1978.

The 'central bisecting bank' is in fact the north boundary of the old wood.
It is about 1m high, 2m across: ditch on north about 1m deep, 3m across but varying. Runs east from 1063 3423 with gap for track; from grid reference westwards it fades to just a 'shelf' above the field to north (this end of the wood has been replanted, but old trees remain on the bank). It is similarly faint on west and south. However it remains on east side, at southeast corner curving round to fade into the 'shelf'.
A similar length remains outside circuit to northeast, at 1073 3428, but other boundary banks of northern part of wood are very faint. Probably a medieval wood boundary, perhaps connected with the priory lands. Not prehistoric.
Of (S2)'s pits, a few faint depressions remain scattered throughout wood.

Earthwork survey.
The wood covers 29 hectares; its earliest cartographic representation is on Faden’s county map of 1797. The archaeological evidence suggests that the wood has expanded from a smaller medieval core. This core is the eastern section of the wood, beyond the track, which is surrounded by a substantial boundary bank. This same section is bordered by the remnants of an ancient oak hedge, along with large coppice stools. The other parts of the wood are later additions to the eastern medieval core, which is now predominantly a Scots Pine plantation. The western section of the wood is mixed, to the south it is mainly Scots Pine but the northern/central section consists of Sweet Chestnut coppice and Beech standards.
C. Goodwin (NLA), 26 August 2010.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Undated)
  • DITCH (Undated)
  • LYNCHET (Undated)
  • PIT (Undated)
  • BOUNDARY MARKER (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COPPICE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HEDGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WOOD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WOOD BANK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PLANTATION (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1883. First edition six inch map.
<S2>Publication: Bolding. 1850. Notebook.

Related records - none

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