Record Details

NHER Number:1079
Type of record:Monument
Name:Middle/Late Saxon settlement in Chalk Pit Field and multi-period finds


Excavation in 1991 in advance of pipe laying revealed a Middle Saxon kiln or oven and subsequent excavation by Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project from 2007 has shown this to be the site of a Middle to Late Saxon settlement. Stray finds, fieldwalking and metal-detecting between the 1960's and 2012 recovered Roman, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon and medieval pottery; Late Saxon and medieval coins and Roman to medieval metal objects. The metal finds include a Roman seal box lid; a Middle Saxon strap fitting and pin; a Middle/Late Saxon hooked tag and an undated gold sheet fragment.


  • Middle Saxon strap fitting from NHER 1079  © Norfolk County Council


Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TF73NW

Full description

On valley slope to south of excavated Saxon settlement (NHER 1607) arable fields.
Context 1.
Scatter of Ipswich and Thetford ware and Roman sherds.
A. Rogerson (NAU) and K. Wade (NAU), 1974.

October 1978.
Context 2.
Medieval coarse grey ware by [1].

Roman pot sherds found in field east of and adjoining Sedgeford chalk pit.
Information from (S1).
R.J. Rickett (NAU), 2 May 1990.

1991. Watching Brief and Excavation.
Carried out in advance of water pipes which were to be laid though an area which possibly contained possible mid Saxon burials and settlements. Context 3 and onwards revealed a middle Saxon oven/kiln, also excavated were boundary ditches and occupation spreads which also dated to this period, these offered an insight into the extent and location of the settlement. Also recovered were Roman, Late Saxon, medieval pottery and prehistoric flints.
See report (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S5) and (S7).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.11).
E. Rose (NLA), 13 November 1991. Amended by M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 28 June 2013.

April 2007. Geophysical survey.
Further archaeological investigation has been undertaken at the northern end of Chalk Pit Field, to better understanding the character, chronology and extent of the Middle-Late Saxon settlement. This has included a combined program of fieldwalking and geophysical survey, which was followed with the excavation of five test trenches. The geophysical survey has revealed a number of linear, curvilinear, pit-type and ditch-type anomalies likely to be of archaeological origin. The majority of the anomalies appear to be concentrated in the northern half of the survey area together with a general spread of responses throughout the survey area. The apparent concentration of anomalies to the north may represent one or more phases of settlement, possibly associated with the adjacent Boneyard Field (NHER ) to the north. The strong prominent ditch-type anomaly may possibly represent a substantial boundary or enclosure ditch associated with one or more phases of activity. Several of the anomalies appear to be truncated and/or cut by other anomalies, and there is supporting excavation evidence for the re-cutting of some of the ditches suggesting a number of phases of anthropogenic activity on the site. The finds from this area suggest that the majority of anomalies on the site date to the Saxon period suggesting that the site is associated with the Anglo-Saxon burial ground to the north.
See (S3).
S. Howard (HES), 15 November 2011.

September 2007. Metal-detecting in archaeological excavation backfill.
Middle Saxon/Late Saxon hooked tag, two Late Saxon coins and unidentified and undated gold sheet fragment.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 5 October 2007.

September-October 2007. Metal-detecting in area of 2007 excavations.
Romano-British seal box lid, medieval coin and fragment of unidentified medieval metal object.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 8 November 2007.

March-April 2008. Metal-detecting.
One Middle Saxon and one medieval coin, Middle Saxon/Late Saxon strap end and Late Saxon harness pendant (S6).
See list in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 9 May 2008.

September-October 2010. Metal-detecting.
Reworked Middle Saxon pin found in archaeological excavation backfill.
See description in file.
A. Rogerson (HES), 4 November 2010.

Fieldwalking and metal-detecting revealed a high density of surface finds, including Saxon pottery fabrics, oyster shell and occasional metal-detected finds indicative of a ploughed-out settlement focus. There is no clear ‘off-site’ halo of pottery indicating manuring away from the intense settlement focus, which suggests that ceramic loss is closely related to use rather than from discard during various activities at the settlement. Three sherds of possible Early Saxon pottery were recovered towards the centre of the observed artefact scatter, which probably represent a hand built element of a Middle Saxon ceramic assemblage. A total of 24 sherds of Middle Saxon Ipswich Ware were recovered, towards the east and northwest of the observed artefact scatter, perhaps representing buried middens or concentrations of archaeological features. Towards the eastern extent of the artefact scatter a Middle Saxon Series O sceatta was recovered, but, in contrast to other ‘productive’ sites, no additional Middle Saxon metalwork was recovered. A total of 162 sherds of Thetford-type Wares were recovered, many with thumb impressed and roulette-decorated rims. These sherds covered much of the northern part of Chalkpit field, but were particularly abundant towards the western extent of the observed artefact scatter, suggesting concentrated activity in this part of the Late Saxon settlement. There also seemed to be a clear east-west aligned end to the area of concentrated artefact loss approximately 100m south of the northern field boundary. Other diagnostic Late Saxon finds were recovered by metal-detecting and comprise a Late Saxon Borre style brooch, a ring and a pair of iron shears. Two Late Saxon coins were also recovered from the western end of the artefact scatter, a penny of Burgred of Mercia (AD 852-74) and a Viking issue St. Edmund memorial penny (c. AD 895-910). A concentrated scatter of oyster shell was also observed, apparently mirroring the concentrations of Late Saxon Thetford Ware. As at Burnham Market it has been suggested that dense spreads of oyster shell, coinciding with dark soil spreads, may represent ploughed-out surface rubbish middens.
See (S4).
S. Howard (HES), 15 November 2011.

July-August 2012.
Excavation and evaluation by Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (Trench 15).
Details to follow.
Objects recovered during this work included a medieval triangular sheet silver pendant.
An elaborate medieval openwork gilt copper alloy harness pendant was recovered from spoil during the backfilling of the trench. See drawing (S8) and description in file. This object has an architectural decorative motif of intersecting arcading similar to that found in Romanesque buildings such as Norwich Cathedral. It is one of several such objects published in (S9).
The medieval sheet silver pendant was submitted as potential Treasure (Treasure case 2012 T943) and, according to (S10), possibly subsequently acquired by King's Lynn Museum. See PAS record NMS-888D34 for additional information on this object.
A. Beckham (HES), 3 July 2014. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 14 June 2020.

August 2012. Metal-detecting.
One Middle Saxon strap fitting.
Information from PAS import.
A. Beckham (HES), 2 November 2012.

NHER 31814 merges with this site. Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project investigations within this field are recorded as NHER 31814.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • KILN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • OVEN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • SEAL BOX (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • COIN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • HOOKED TAG (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • PIN (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • STRAP END (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Middle Saxon - 700 AD to 850 AD)
  • COIN (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • HARNESS PENDANT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SPANGLE (Medieval - 1300 AD to 1500 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Publication: British Museum. 2014. Treasure Act Annual Report 2012. p 41.
---Serial: 1974. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1974. No 21. p 8.
---Photograph: I & RS. Digital finds image.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Lewton-Braine, C. H. 1967. The Archaeology of Heacham and the adjoining areas.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Hunt is on for Sedgeford treasure. 6 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. 4,500 year old woman tells us a new story. 4 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Stage set for annual archaeological dig. 3 July.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Sedgeford.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Sedgeford.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: BPD6.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Discovery sheds light on village's past importance. 25 July.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Middle Saxon. Sedgeford.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. Handprint from Anglo-Saxon period to be put on display. 24 July.
<S1>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Records / Pastscape.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. 1991. Summary Report of Excavations at Sedgeford, Norfolk, June-July 1991. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 35.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Davies, G.. 2007. An archaeological evaluation of the Middle to Late Anglo-Saxon Settlement at Chalkpit Field, Sedgeford, north-west Norfolk..
<S4>Thesis: Davies, G.. 2010. Settlement, economy and lifestyle: The changing social identities of the coastal settlements of West Norfolk, 450-1100 AD..
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1992. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 1991. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt III pp 371-379. pp 377-378.
<S6>Illustration: Gibbons, J. 2008. Drawing of a Late Saxon copper alloy horse harness pendant. Find Illustration. Film. 2:1.
<S7>Article in Serial: Nenk, B. S., Margeson, S. and Hurley, M. 1992. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1991. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XXXVI pp 184-308. p 254.
<S8>Illustration: Gibbons, J. 2012. Drawing of a medieval gilt copper alloy harness pendant. Film. 2:1.
<S9>Article in Monograph: Ashley, S. 2016. Anglo-Norman elite objects from castle and countryside. Castles and the Anglo-Norman World. Proceedings of a Conference held at Norwich Castle in 2012. Davies, J. et al (eds). pp 281-298. Fig 18.11 No 70.

Related records

31814Part of: Site of Roman farmstead and multi-period finds (Monument)

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