Record Details

NHER Number:1439
Type of record:Monument
Name:Late Saxon or medieval salt works


A saltern site of possible Late Saxon to medieval dates, visible on aerial photographs. Some possible occupation may have also taken place at the site. An earthwork mound at this site was excavated in 1913, when it was interpreted as a Roman burial site. An excavation in 1950 recovered Late Saxon and medieval pottery and briquetage, which suggests that the site was a salt works in the Late Saxon to medieval periods. Roman and Middle Saxon pottery was found in 1998.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6771 3792
Map Sheet:TF63NE

Full description

Artificial mound north of Recreation Ground and railway about 7.6m (25') O.D.
Excavated first by unknown person at unknown date who dug a pit in centre.

B. Lowerison dug two sections 5.4m (18') wide, north to south 2.4m (8') and east to west 1.8m (6').
Found charcoal, shells, and animal bones, and hard grey pottery 'like 1st century Belgic'.
He called it a Gallo-Roman interment but his finds have since been lost.

August 1950. Whole mound excavated for Nofolk Research Committee.
See (S1).
Much briquetage, and pottery Late Saxon to early medieval.
Probably a salt boiling site.
Marked as 'Hut, site of (Antiquity)' on (S2).

Finds re-examined 1998, include Roman and Middle Saxon pottery.
See report in file.
Part of large scatter NHER 28850.
E. Rose (NAU).

April 2002. Norfolk NMP.
Site consisting of earthwork and cropmark evidence for several amorphous mounds, visible on vertical aerial photographs from the RAF in 1946 (S3) and the OS in 1967 (S4). The first is located at TF 6767 3789 and is approximately 108m by 97m. It is cut across by several sinuous gullies. This mound as viewed on the RAF 1946 aerial photographs (S3), is a cropmark on the 1967 OS photography (S4). The shape and size of the mound also looks truncated, this is probably due to the 1950 excavation of the site.
The second, eastern mound is located at TF 6776 3786 and is 70m by 45m. This is surrounded by another set of sinuous gullies. It is possible that these features are natural undulations and creeks to the east of the Heacham River. However the finding of briquetage and other material may suggest that these mounds are manmade.
The amorphous shape of the mounds, their location next to the Heacham river and the finds of briquetage within them suggests that these may have been salterns. Pottery dating from Roman to medieval was discovered at this site, the range of wares and other finds, may indicate some domestic activity at this site as well. However the excavation suggests that these possible salterns were Late Saxon to medieval in date.
S. Massey (NMP), 15 April 2002.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • SALTERN (Unknown date)
  • INHUMATION (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUT (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOUND (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • SALT WORKS (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • SALTERN (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOUND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROUND HOUSE (DOMESTIC) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SALT WORKS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Undated)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Undated)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • BRIQUETAGE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BRIQUETAGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: 1913. Proceedings of Archaeological Societies [3 of 3]. The Antiquary. Vol XLIX pp 471-474. p 473.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. [unknown]. [unknown]. 22 October.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 63 NE 1 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Article in Serial: 1914. Summary of Proceedings. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol I Pt IV (for 1913-14) pp 485-491. p 486.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Heacham.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Heacham.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Heacham [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Lewton-Braine, C. H. 1950. Excavation Notes.
<S2>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1926. 1926 revision of 1883 OS 6" map.
<S3>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 4104-5 07-JUN-1946 (Norfolk SMR TF 6737A-B).
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1967. OS/67069 148-9 26-APR-1967 (Norfolk SMR TF 6737A, TF 6738F).

Related records - none

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