Record Details

NHER Number:11651
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible Bronze Age round barrow cemetery, at Gibbet Hill


A possible Bronze Age round barrow cemetery is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs of this area. Up to four ring ditches are visible, one of which has a second, inner ring ditch. They are surrounded by, and to some extent incorporated into, a field system of unknown date. Documentary evidence records a medieval post mill in this area, the site of which may or may not be associated with one of the ring ditches.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4763 1795
Map Sheet:TG41NE

Full description


Cropmarks of two small circles claimed by [1].
Information from NCM.

CUCAP air photographs.
Reveal these as double ring ditch, another to northeast (single), and a third inside a droveway or cursus which expands to include it.

Extended eastwards on NAU air photographs.

[2] in letter to J. Wymer (NAU) (S1) notes medieval windmill site somewhere in Gibbet Hill area in 1429 to 1430.
Possibly on one of these marks.
E. Rose (NAU), 7 February 1985.

March 2006. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks of the ‘droveway or cursus’ described above (it is almost certainly not the latter) are now recorded as NHER 11650. NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 4773 1803 to TG 4762 1796.

The ring ditches described above, together with a possible fourth, partial ring ditch, are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S2)-(S4). Their general character and the distinctive topographical location of the site suggests that they probably represent the remains of a small, Bronze Age round barrow cemetery. Documentary evidence for a medieval post mill in this area suggests that one of the ring ditches could be later in origin, as described above. The fact that Martham Account Roll, dated 1429-30, specifies the ‘wages of diverse men raising the mill mound’ (see (S1)) indicates that the builders probably did not make use of a pre-existing, prehistoric mound, as may have happened elsewhere (compare, for example, NHER 27462 approximately 1.5km to the northwest). At the same time, there is no evidence from the cropmarks that any of these ring ditches represents a post mill site: no internal cross-shaped pits are visible, and the form of the ring ditches is more comparable to probable barrow sites than to probable mill sites (e.g. compare NHER 12188 1.6km to the northeast).

The ring ditches are surrounded by the cropmarks of an undated field system (NHER 11650). The way in which a trackway or double ditched boundary which is part of the field system expands to partially incorporate the largest ring ditch (as described above) indicates that it is a later feature. It also demonstrates that the postulated barrow must have still been visible as an earthwork when the field system was laid out. A curvilinear cropmark visible approximately 135m to the north of the site may possibly represent part of a fifth ring ditch, but too little is visible to be certain of this and consequently it has been recorded as part of NHER 11650.

The ring ditches are loosely clustered and no overall pattern is discernible. They are visible across an area measuring approximately 145m by 115m. The largest ring ditch, visible at TG 4759 1801, is slightly oval in shape and measures approximately 33m long and 28.5m wide. The partial ring ditch at TG 4768 1800, which is only faintly visible and may not be archaeological in origin, appears to be circular in shape with a diameter of 17m. The ring ditch to its south, at TG 4767 1796, is slightly oval in shape and measures approximately 23m long and 20.5m wide. The double ring ditch, at TG 4758 1789, is broadly circular; it measures 15.5m in diameter externally and 8m internally. There is no evidence that any of the breaks visible in the ditch circuits of the ring ditches represent genuine causeways.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 21 March 2006.

Monument Types

  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • BARROW CEMETERY (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POST MILL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RING DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • WINDMILL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDMILL MOUND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: CUCAP BYJ 35, BYY 60, BUB 85, NAU TG 4717A-B, TG 4718A-D.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Correspondence: 1985. Letter regarding cropmarks at Gibbet Hill.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1977. NHER TG 4717B (NLA 55/AKV10) 01-AUG-1977.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. NHER TG 4718G (CUCAP BYJ35) 29-JUN-1976.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. NHER TG 4718H (CUCAP BYY60) 03-JUL-1976.

Related records - none

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