Record Details

NHER Number:38954
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmark of possible Bronze Age ring ditch


A ring ditch of unknown date and function is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs taken in 1946. At this time it lay approximately 35m inland of the cliff edge but has since been largely or possibly entirely lost to coastal erosion. There are a number of plausible interpretations for the site. It could represent the levelled remains of a Bronze Age round barrow. Numerous burial mounds of this type have been recorded to the west, many in the vicinity of Roughton Heath (e.g. NHER 38632), and several possibly prehistoric ring ditches have been identified closer to Trimingham (e.g. NHER 38880 2.3km to the north-west and NHER 38496 2.7km to the south-west). Another possibility is that the ring ditch represents the site of a medieval or later post mill. Its location in a relatively high position on the outskirts of the village is appropriate for such a site. A third possibility is that it is associated with World War Two coastal defences, extensive remains of which have been recorded in the area. While it could perhaps have been a gun or searchlight emplacement, however, no traces of such a site are visible on wartime aerial photographs and a recently created and demolished site would probably have looked 'fresher' on the 1946 photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2841 3863
Map Sheet:TG23NE

Full description

November 2004. Norfolk NMP.
A ring ditch is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs (S1), centred at TG 2842 3864. Of the various interpretations of the site, the possibility that it is a World War Two military feature, such as an emplacement, is least convincing. There is a faint earthwork or vegetation mark in this approximate area on an oblique aerial photograph taken in 1940 (S2), and disturbed ground, possibly indicating post-war military activity, on aerial photographs taken later in 1946 (S3). There is no exact correspondence between the location of these different features, however, and consequently no evidence that they are associated. In the absence of any positive indicators that it is a World War Two military site, therefore, it seems more likely to be the remains of a prehistoric burial mound or a post mill.
The ring ditch is slightly sub-circular in shape and measures up to 11m in diameter. A possible internal pit might represent a grave or the socket for the base of a mill post.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 4 November 2004.

There is a passing reference in an undated press cutting in NCM Bolingbroke Collection to there having been a lime kiln in Taylors Lane; this might be connected with this site, or might be elsewhere – no map evidence.
E. Rose (NLA), 4 June 2007.

Nothing on 1st edition O.S. maps, but site is noted in White's Directory from 1890 to 1883 (S4) and in Kelly's from 1896 to 1937 (S5). The site also appears on 25ins O.S. map 1885 as "Lime Kiln" (S6).
NIAS records (S7)
W. Arnold (HES) 15/12/2010

Monument Types

  • RING DITCH (Unknown date)
  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • ROUND BARROW? (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POST MILL? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RING DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDMILL? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LIME KILN (19th Century to Mid 20th Century - 1885 AD? to 1937 AD?)
  • GUN EMPLACEMENT? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • RING DITCH (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEARCHLIGHT BATTERY? (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1571 3189 07-JUN-1946 (NMR).
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1940. NMR TG 2838/3 (MSO 31020 26/BR14/12 4892) 19-SEP-1940.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4115-6 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Directory: White, W.. 1845. White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk.
<S5>Directory: Kelly, E.. Kelly's Directory of Norfolk..
<S6>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. Ordnance Survey 25 inch 2nd edition (revised 1902-7).
<S7>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.

Related records - none

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