Record Details

NHER Number:1400
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:?Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic worked flints, Bennet's Orchard.


A range of prehistoric worked flints were recovered in this field during the early 20th century. These include a Palaeolithic handaxe, a number of potentially Mesolithic pieces and a laural leaf point of probable Neolithic date.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6818 3653
Map Sheet:TF63NE

Full description

Flints from Bennet's Orchard (old Ordnance Survey Field 41).

1912. Stray Find.
In 1912 a Palaeolithic handaxe was found in Bennet's Orchard. Information from (S1). See photo in file (S2). On the reverse of (S2) it is noted that this object was given to the Sedgewick Museum. This object is listed in (S3), although here it is recorded as being held by the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (CUMAA).

It appears that this is one of two "leaf-shaped" implements from Heacham described and figured in (S4), where it is described as a "Solutrean [Upper Palaeolithic] laurel leaf point". It is recorded as being in the collections of the CUMAA (30.30) and had been donated by "Mr B. Lowerison and his friends". It is also mentioned as a possible Late Palaeolithic implement in (S5) and (S6). It is however noted on (S7) that it is perhaps more likely to be a Neolithic laurel leaf. See NHER 1399 for details of a similar piece found on the beach at Heacham around the same time. This was also listed as a handaxe in (S1).

This object is described by Wymer recorded on (S8) as being very thin and in mint condition, which would appear to support a Late Upper Palaeolithic or later date for this object. It is also noted in (S9).

A number of other worked flints were also recovered in Bennett's Orchard around the same time, 27 of which were photographed (S10). It is noted that a number of these flints were stained a reddish brown. This flints had also been found by B. Lowerison and as with the object detailed above, it appears that they were first given to the Sedgewick Museum and then subsequently passed to the CUMAA. It is suggested on (S11) that a number of these pieces are Mesolithic, although it should be noted that none are listed in (S12).

Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 16 December 2013.,

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 63 NE 62.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S2>Photograph: [Unknown]. Photograph of a Palaeolithic flint handaxe from Bennet's Orchard, Heacham. print.
<S3>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8.
<S4>Article in Serial: Burkitt, M. C. 1931. Six interesting flint implements now in Cambridge. Antiquaries Journal. Vol XI No 1 pp 55-57. pp 55-56; No 5.
<S5>Publication: Kendrick, T. D. and Hawkes, C. F. C. 1932. Archaeology in England and Wales, 1914-1931. p 25. p 37.
<S6>Article in Monograph: Sainty, J. E. 1935. Norfolk Prehistory. Report of the Annual Meeting, 1935. Norwich, September 4-11. British Association for the Advancement of Science. Appendix pp 60-71. p 64.
<S7>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic.
<S8>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. Heacham (Bennets Orchard).
<S9>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 13.
<S10>Photograph: [Unknown]. Photograph of Mesolithic and/or Neolithic worked flints from Bennet's Orchard, Heacham. print.
<S11>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Mesolithic.
<S12>Monograph: Wymer, J. J. and Bonsall, C. J. (eds). 1977. Gazetteer of Mesolithic Sites in England and Wales with a Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic Sites in England and Wales. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. No. 20.

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