Record Details

NHER Number:38499
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmarks of extensive, possibly Iron Age, field system

Summary

An extensive field system, elements of which may date from the Iron Age to early post-medieval periods, is visible as the cropmarks of field boundary, enclosure and trackway ditches on aerial photographs. The subdivision of part of one of the enclosures may indicate settlement or other domestic use. Although few finds have been recovered from the area, many elements of the field system can be dated tentatively to the Romano-British or even Iron Age period on the basis of their morphology. The field system also surrounds and shares a general alignment with a farmstead of possible Romano-British date (NHER 17739) and may overlie the ring ditch of a Bronze Age round barrow (NHER 38504). Other elements of the field system would seem to date to a later period, however, again on morphological grounds; those centred at TG 2295 3507, for example, may relate to quarrying which perhaps continued into the post-medieval period. The area in which the field system lies was incorporated into Gunton Park in the 18th or 19th century (NHER 30438), and the majority of the field system is likely to predate this event.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2324 3572
Map Sheet:TG23NW
Parish:THORPE MARKET, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

March 2004, Norfolk NMP
Some of the cropmarks described below were previously recorded as NHER 29567, NHER 36484, NHER 28820 and NHER 36483. There is no evidence that any of the cropmarks relate to a Roman camp, as previously suggested (NHER 36483).

An extensive field system is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1-10). The most continuously visible area is centred at TG 2279 3537. The cropmarks largely consist of ditches which define field boundaries, enclosures and trackways. Few finds have been recovered from the area, but in general terms the field system can be tentatively dated to the Romano-British or even Iron Age period. It surrounds a farmstead of possible Romano-British date (NHER 17739), and a coin of the same period has been recovered from the area (NHER 37438). If this post-Bronze Age date is correct, part of the field system also overlies the ring ditch of a Bronze Age round barrow (NHER 38504). Several phases of activity are discernible, however, (e.g. at TG 2267 3527), and some of the mapped features may post-date this period. In particular, a polygonal enclosure at TG 2293 3509 mirrors the shape of a surviving quarry pit, depicted on historic maps (S11) and may, together with a number of possibly associated features, be of post-medieval date. Despite these clear variations in date for some elements of the field system, in the absence of any closely dated features and of more continuously visible cropmarks it has not been possible to phase or define different elements of the site in a more meaningful manner. The fact that the area was enclosed within Gunton Park in the 18th or 19th century (NHER 30438; S12) provides a terminus post quem for much of the field system, but there is no positive evidence that it immediately predates this event, as has previously been suggested (NHER 29567). It is not known whether iron slag recovered from the area (NHER 6759) has any association with the field system.

The field system is visible within an area of approximately 1.7 square km. A large rectangular enclosure, measuring 266m by 117m and with a trackway on its west side and subdivisions at its southern end (perhaps indicative of settlement), is centred at TG 2284 3541. Two post holes flanking and in alignment with a 7m long segment of ditch lie parallel to and outside the northern end of this enclosure. Smaller rectilinear enclosures, one of which measures 53m by 40m and which appear to be of a different phase, are visible at TG 2267 3527 and elsewhere. Roughly parallel trackways are visible from TG 2264 3565 to TG 2268 3550 and TG 2311 3597 to TG 2319 3567. Aside from the polygonal enclosure mentioned above, other evidence of quarrying in the area consists of two pits at TG 2294 3516 and TG 2316 3510. Large, unmapped ditches and hollows centred at TG 2312 3611 may be of geological origin or may represent more extensive quarrying.
(S1-12)
S. Tremlett (NMP), 18 March 2004

Monument Types

  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • QUARRY (Unknown date)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • SETTLEMENT (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 800 BC to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 800 BC to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 800 BC to 1900 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 800 BC to 1900 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 800 BC to 1900 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 800 BC to 1900 AD)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD)
  • QUARRY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1986. NHER TG 2234Z (NLA 184/DCU11) 29-JUL-1986.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1986. NHER TG 2235ABC (NLA 179/DBN14) 16-JUL-1986.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1989. NHER TG 2235ABL (NLA 236/DWK11) 11-JUL-1989.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1989. NHER TG 2235ABQ (NLA 236/DWK15) 11-JUL-1989.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1990. NHER TG 2235ADC (NLA 272/GDG7) 12-JUL-1990.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1996. NHER TG 2335P (NLA 365/JFL5) 28-JUN-1996.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A.. 1996. NHER TG 2335J (NLA 365/JFK16) 28-JUN-1996.
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1996. RAF 39/6976 011-2 14-NOV-1996 (Norfolk SMR TG 2235F and TG 2335F).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1963. RAF 58/5842 (F21) 0008-9 23-JUL-1963 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 2370-1 03-SEP-1988 (NCC 4564-5).
<S11>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. Ordnance Survey second edition 25" (1902-7) Sheet XIX. 11.
<S12>Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England..

Related records - none

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