Record Details

NHER Number:2140
Type of record:Monument
Name:Alethorpe deserted medieval village


The site of the medieval village of Alethorpe, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was abandoned in the 16th century, probably due to the landlord at the time enclosing the land. Today a series of low earthworks, possible trackways and a house platform can be seen, but there is little other evidence of the village, even its church (NHER 2139) having vanished. Metal detecting in 1985 recovered a Late Saxon disc brooch.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 95 31
Map Sheet:TF93SE

Full description

Mentioned in (S1) and (S2); Thirty houses in 1272, twelve taxpayers 1329, eleven in 1332; twelve in 1377; ten heads of families in 1496; landlord accused of enclosure in 16th century.

Field system with causeway road and two ditches on an aerial photograph of Norfolk and Norwich Aero Club 1933 noted by R. R. Clarke (NCM).

16 November 1979 visited by E. Rose (NAU).
Many humps and bumps in park to south of Hall, but not forming any pattern.
Hall is of recent date but a brick and flint barn is dated 1677.
For site of church seeNHER 2139.
E. Rose (NAU).

18m to 27m (20 to 30 yards) from path along west of field. Metal detecting.
Late Saxon Copper alloy convex disc brooch with lug (and transverse pin and trace of iron pin in place) and catchplate on reverse, ?animal ornament. (see similar from West Caister [2]).
Photograph (S3) NCM.
S. Margeson (NCM), 14 November 1985.

June 1993. Earthworks in good condition, grazed by cattle/sheep.
No poaching.
H. Paterson (NLA), 3 June 1993.

September 1994. Two fields have earthworks. Ordnance Survey field number 9933 to north of farm has terraced slope (possibly in part natural) with one shallow east-to-west ditch.
Ordnance Survey field number 9616 has more positive causeway (north-to-south) heading towards church site, with one possible ditched enclosure boundary to east.
Other features look more natural, but pond in south could be human influenced.
Suggestion of platform in wood (0106) with very irregular surrounding ditch; difficult to determine due to vegetation and pheasant pens!
Features in field to east (1200) would appear natural with various drainage attempts; possibly originally common??
Slight banks in southeast.
Sketch plan in file - 10,000 survey not considered appropriate.
B. Cushion (NLA), October 1994.

Area remains under pasture grazed by cattle/sheep.
Owner now very frail. Contact should be with associate [1].
H. Paterson (NLA), 2 February 1996.

5 January 2000. Site visit to discuss WGS tree planting. Area of earthwork is ungrazed pasture.
D. Gurney (NLA), 5 January 2000

Monument Types

  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BARN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BROOCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)

Protected Status

  • Management Statement

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF 9431A,B.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 93 SW 5 [3].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Snoring (Little).
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Publication: Brown, P (ed.). 1984. Domesday Book: Norfolk. Parts 1 and 2.
<S2>Monograph: Nomina Villarum.
<S3>Photograph: NLA. Finds Photograph.

Related records - none

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