Record Details

NHER Number:24208
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval saltern mounds


Earthworks of saltern mounds of probable medieval date are visible on aerial photographs. A watching brief undertaken during groundworks in 1998 identified pits and recovered a significant amount of briquetage: confirming that this was a salt-making site.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4681 0535
Map Sheet:TG40NE

Full description

Visited 3 December 1987 by E. Rose (NAU).
Mounds. Formerly all in Reedham parish.
Series of amorphous mounds, up to 1m high (difficult to judge owing to irregular ground level).
Central mound roughly circular, contains three conical depressions on top in line northeast to southwest. Not possible to estimate width as merges with others. Under grass, mole hills of black soil and some slightly sand coloured but no briquetage or pottery.
Resemble salterns found in Clenchwarton by R. Silvester (NAU) but not like Bure saltmounds.
E. Rose (NAU) 8 December 1987.

April 1998. Earthwork Survey.
Survey at 1:1000, undertaken due to proposed clay extraction on field.
See report (S1) for further details and copy of plan (S6). This survey is also noted in (S7).
B. Cushion (NLA) 21 April 1998.

April-July 1998. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks associated with engineering works on Yare river wall that disturbed low mound thought to be medieval saltern. Contexts 1-8.
Excavation of three trenches running parallel to each other in an northeast to southwest direction through the centre of the saltern. These revealed pit and a possible ditch. Finds recovered included medieval unglazed pottery sherds and 1.158kg of briquetage - confirming that this was a saltworking site.
See report (S2) for further details.
The archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2018.270).
C. Phillips (NAU) 23 July 1998. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 March 2015.

December 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Earthworks of saltern mounds of probable medieval date are visible on aerial photographs (S3-S5). These earthworks are centred on TG 4682 0535 and have previously been surveyed (S1) and investigated by trial excavation (S2). Three mounds are visible on the aerial photographs. The largest of these is located in the northeast of the group at TG 4684 0538. It has an irregular plan and measures up to 47m long by 40m wide. Two sub-circular pits are clearly visible cut into the top of the mound. These are present on aerial photographs dating to 1945 (S3) casting some doubt on the claim in (S1) that they are modern holes dug to locate an electricity cable. However, their exact date and function are not known. A smaller irregular mound with a diameter of approximately 16m is present to the east of the large mound. Further to the southwest at TG 4677 0532 is a third mound. It also has an irregular plan and measures 35m by 20m. This mound was subject to a trial excavation by the Norfolk Archaeology Unit in 1999 and produced medieval pottery (S2). The excavated remains support the evidence from the visible earthworks that these are saltern mounds of medieval date. A rectangular enclosure located within the southern part of this field (NHER 42217) that is visible on the aerial photographs was not recorded during the earthworks survey or trial trenching (S1-S2).
J. Albone (NMP), 08 December 2005

Monument Types

  • MOUND (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SALT WORKS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SALTERN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRIQUETAGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1998. Reedham SMR24208. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Philips, C. 1999. Report on an Archaeological Watching Brief at Berney Arms Reach, Reedham Marshes. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 329.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/930 3010-1 16-OCT-1945 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1953. RAF 82/724 3-4 16-FEB-1953 (NHER TG 4605A-B).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1970. OS/70351 240-1 20-SEP-1970.
<S6>Illustration: Cushion, B. 1998. Plan of earthworks at Reedham SMR 24208. Film. 1:1000.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1999. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1998. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 369-387. p 381.

Related records - none

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