Record Details

NHER Number:35363
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Wiggs Broad


A lake is marked on Faden's map of 1797 and it is marked as Wiggs Broad on the 1808 Hickling Enclosure map. The broad was created by medieval peat cutting. The aerial photograph evidence has revealed additional peat cuttings surrounding Wiggs Broad.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4305 2425
Map Sheet:TG42SW

Full description

Site of Broad.
Lake marked on (S1) (with words 'Hickling…Broad' confusingly adjacent) is shown on (S2) as Wiggs Broad. (S3) confirms this is a genuine Broad ie peat cutting.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 April 2000.

Site extended to include additional areas of extraction and therefore centre of site has been altered from TG 4330 2435 to TG 4320 2431.

March 2005. Norfolk NMP.
The location of Wiggs Broad is visible on the aerial photographs as a crescent-shaped darker, wetter and slightly sunken area within the surrounding marsh (S4-S5). Also visible on aerial photographs are additional areas with the same characteristics, indicating that the extraction was more extensive on these marshes than the map evidence suggests. The site is centred on TG 4320 2431. To the northwest of Wiggs Broad is an elongated area of darker, wetter ground which skirts around a curvilinear enclosed and slightly elevated area of land. Further west, adjacent to Hickling Priory (NHER 8384), is another possible area of extraction, visible in 1946 (S5) as a slightly sunken, wetter area. The southern part of this feature is now covered with woodland (S6). To the east of Wiggs Broad a chain of further possible extraction areas follow a slight irregular shaped channel which runs through Bells and Mills Marshes to the east. A curvilinear bank is visible to the immediate west of Wiggs Broad, running from TG 4276 2425 to TG 4290 2453, from the edge of the marsh towards the Broad itself. It is possible that this formed a raised access route through the marshes, perhaps used for the transportation of material from the cutting.

Other nearby Broads, such as Horsey (HER 13507) and Heigham Sound (HER 8387) are thought to largely be the product of clay extraction, this has also been suggested for Wiggs Broad and the other nearby Broads, such as Gage’s Broad (NHER 32157) on the silt marshes of the Thurne head waters (S3; p 87). However the soils map for the area of this site would indicate that these pits would have been predominantly cut for peat extraction.
S. Massey (NMP), 29 March 2005.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PEAT CUTTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 2054-5 29-AUG-1988 (NCC 4277-8).
<S1>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S2>Map: 1808. Hickling Enclosure Map.
<S3>Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1997. The Norfolk Broads: a landscape history.. pp 87, 97.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1943. RAF AC/161 5142-6 04-JAN-1943 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2100-4 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).

Related records - none

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