Record Details

NHER Number:38468
Type of record:Monument
Name:Earthworks of post medieval water meadow


An area of post medieval water meadow, the drains of which are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. A number of the ditches conform to the classic herringbone pattern associated with water meadows.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2170 3543
Map Sheet:TG23NW

Full description

February 2004, Norfolk NMP

The ditches of a water meadow are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs from 1946 (S1). They lie to each side of what appear to be two canalised minor streams which feed into Hagon Beck, a tributary of Blackwater Beck and (further downstream) Kings Beck, which joins the River Bure below Oxnead. They are presumed to be post-medieval in date, and a number of the ditches or streams appear to have remained in use, probably as drainage ditches, into the 20th century (S1).

The larger stream follows an almost east-to-west alignment from TG 2157 3542 to TG 2173 3538 before turning south-east; it has been mapped as far as TG 2184 3528. The second stream is aligned north-to-south and has been mapped from TG 2171 3563 to TG 2177 3533 where it joins the other stream. The wider ditches running parallel and at right angles to these streams probably acted as the main drains for the water meadow system. Ditches aligned at an angle to the streams, forming a distinctive herringbone pattern (e.g. at TG 2172 3541), were probably minor drains. Narrow and closely spaced ditches aligned parallel or at right angles to the streams may also have been minor drains or merely normal drainage ditches.

The majority, if not all, the drains appear to have since been levelled. Some elements are visible as cropmarks or vegetation marks on aerial photographs from 1988 (S2). Traces of a possibly earlier alignment of herringbone drains are visible on both the 1946 and 1988 aerial photographs. Those on the 1946 aerial photographs (S1) have been mapped; they are the ditches with a north-east to south-west alignment visible at TG 2174 3541. For reasons of clarity, those on the 1988 aerial photographs have not been mapped, but are visible as ditches with a west-north-west to east-south-east alignment at TG 2171 3544 (S2).
S. Tremlett (NMP), 24 February 2004

Monument Types

  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WATER MEADOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WATER MEADOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WATER MEADOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1430 4437-8 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1988. OS/88129 087-8 27-MAY-1988 (NMR).

Related records - none

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