Record Details

NHER Number:17707
Type of record:Monument
Name:Post medieval causeway and finds


A causeway survives here as a low earthwork and is visible on aerial photographs. It has been suggested that it could be the remains of a Roman road. However, the discovery of 18th to 19th century bricks within the earthwork and its general appearance suggest that is more likely to be a post medieval feature.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4733 2066
Map Sheet:TG42SE

Full description

Causeway (called Roman road by informant [1]).
Runs northeast to southwest from corner of a field. Peters out before it reaches present track on east. Clearly visible as a low rise and a scatter of white gravel about 3m wide in ploughed field. Many fragments of red brick, with inclusions.
Larger ones appear 18th to 19th century.
Where causeway is cut by dyke it appears in section to depth of about 1.5m with no trace of side ditches.
Several pieces of burnt wattle impressed daub found on side of dyke.
From here the bank could be seen running further southwest and local gamekeepers say it could once be traced even further.
E. Rose (NAU), 28 October 1981.

A. Gregory (NAU) believes the burnt daub could be salt working briquetage.

January 2006. Norfolk NMP.
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site from TG 473 207 to TG 4735 2069.

The causeway described above is visible as an earthwork, cropmark and soilmark on aerial photographs (S1 to S7) between TG 4750 2095 and TG 4713 2038. There seems little evidence for it being a Roman road, and its general appearance, together with the presence of 18th to 19th century brick within its upper levels, suggests that it is more likely to be a post medieval feature, although it could have earlier origins. It is not shown on any of the consulted historic (mainly 19th century) maps, and its line is cut across by drains depicted on Winterton Enclosure Map of 1811 (S8) which are still in use. This suggests that it may be pre 19th century in date and perhaps once linked the high ground of Somerton Holmes (at its northeast end) to the higher ground near Somerton village (at its southwest), crossing the former marsh shown on Faden’s Map of 1797 (S9). It is interesting to note that the causeway, as mapped by the NMP, begins and ends above the 0m OD contour line, crossing an area of land which lies below this level. Like the brick, the daub or briquetage recovered during the investigation of the causeway (described above) may be part of its make up material.

On some photographs, parts of the causeway had the appearance of being ditches rather than positive features. This may in part be explained by the condition of the crop above the feature, but also by the fact that segments of the causeway appear to have continued to be used intermittently as a trackway into the 20th century (see (S6) for example). On the most recent aerial photographs of the site (S7), only the southwest end of the causeway had been entirely levelled.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 5 January 2006.

Monument Types

  • CAUSEWAY (Unknown date)
  • ROAD (Roman - 43 AD? to 409 AD?)
  • CAUSEWAY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • DAUB (Undated)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BRIQUETAGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF CPE/UK/1801 3056-7 25-OCT-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4048-50 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 4821A & TG 4621D).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1964. RAF 58/6112 (F42) 0112-3 01-JAN-1964 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1965. RAF 58/7068 (F22) 0010-1 20-OCT-1965 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1965. MAL 65080 204-5 19-SEP-1965 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72018 146-7 15-MAR-1972.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1981. OS/81029 080-1 22-JUN-1981.
<S8>Map: Glegg and Pratt. 1811. Winterton Enclosure Map.
<S9>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.

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