Record Details

NHER Number:2256
Type of record:Monument
Name:Mesolithic worked flints and Roman corn drier


During the mid 1930s a number of Mesolithic flints were recovered during the excavation of a quarry pit on this site. In 1938 a structure believed to be a Roman corn drying oven was exposed and excavated.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 635 136
Map Sheet:TF61SW

Full description

Various discoveries made during the excavation of the Sommerfield and Thomas gravel pit during the 1930s.

1935-1936. Stray Find.
Mesolithic flint flakes and cores recovered from quarry pit. Information from (S1). It is not recorded who found these flints, although it was most likely J. O. H. Nicholls, who would later discover a Roman corn drier on the site (see below). These finds may therefore be amongst a collection of unprovenanced flints from Setchey that is now held by the King's Lynn Museum (see NHER 59636 for further information on this collection).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 28 August 2013.

1938. Excavation.
Roman kiln-type structure, believed to be a corn drier, exposed at edge of pit. This structure was excavated by J. O. H. Nicholls (a local teacher), possibly with the help of I. J. Thatcher and P. L. K. Schwabe. Information from (S2). Unfortunately no record of this work appears to survive, the best description of the structure being a short article that appeared in the Lynn Advertiser (S3). The structures was described as follows:
"…[it] had been cut into the gravel, with a flooring of Roman-type roofing tiles covered with a layer of clay. The flue was constructed of thin bricks and the lining was of clay, gradually baked by the heat of the fire".
Pottery was recovered from the structure and (according to a note on the file copy of the article) two sherds were subsequently identified as Roman by Prof. Hawkes. Although there were initially plans to preserve the structure it was destroyed in 1938 (presumably as the quarry was extended).

It is unclear whether any of the finds from this site survive, although it is possible that some may be amongst material from Setchey that was given to the Norwich Castle Museum by Schawbe (NWHCM : 1946.164.23 : A). It should however be noted that the bulk of these finds appear to be unstratified material that was recovered from a site to the north (NHER 2257).

This discovery is noted in (S4).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 28 August 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • CORN DRYING KILN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CORN DRYING OVEN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • OVEN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Finds

  • CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 61 SW 2; TF 61 SW 3; TF 61 SW 5 [2]; TF 61 SW 7 [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 - Roman. Winch (West).
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Mesolithic.
<S2>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Lynn Advertiser. 1938. [Article on a trip taken by the Naturalists' Association to a Roman corn drying kiln]. 11 November.
<S4>Monograph: Phillips, C.W.. 1970. Fenland in Roman Times.. p 330. p 330.

Related records - none

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