Record Details

NHER Number:42150
Type of record:Monument
Name:Probable post medieval drains


Linear ditches of unknown date, visible as earthworks and cropmarks on aerial photographs, are probably 19th century drainage ditches. This area is depicted as marshland on Faden’s 1797 map of Norfolk, although nearby Waxham or Brograve drainage mill (NHER 8389) and its associated dykes had been constructed by this date. The ditches could represent an early attempt to drain or enclose the area, or, more probably, they may relate to renewed drainage work in the 19th century. Aerial photographs taken in the 1940s indicate that at least part of one of the drains (the only element visible as an earthwork) may still have been in use in the 20th century. More recent aerial photographs taken in the 1970s indicate that this has now probably been levelled.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4506 2359
Map Sheet:TG42SE

Full description

November 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Linear ditches of unknown date, probably representing 19th century drainage ditches, are visible as cropmarks and earthworks (principally the former) on aerial photographs (S1), (S2), (S3), (S4) and (S5), centred around TG 4504 2360. The ditches, which are not depicted on any of the consulted historic maps, seem most likely to be associated with the final enclosure and drainage of this area of former marshland, which took place between the production of Waxham and Horsey Tithe Maps (S6) and (S7) in 1840 and the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map (S8) in the 1880s. Alternatively, they could represent an earlier attempt to drain the area. The line of the parallel ditches oriented northwest to southeast, which form the southwestern limit of the site, cuts across two major dykes, both shown on the Tithe Maps (S6) and (S7), the northernmost of which is associated with Brograve drainage mill (NHER 8389). The relationship between the dykes and the less substantial features visible on the aerial photographs is not known. The drain at the north corner of the site (visible from TG 4502 2385 to TG 4496 2380), which was an earthwork in the 1940s (S1), (S2) and (S3), may still have been in use at this date. Some of the drains visible to its north, which have been recorded as NHER 42149, could be contemporary with those described here, but again no clear relationship can be discerned. NHER 42151 approximately 270m to the southwest may also be a contemporary site. Recent aerial photographs, taken in the 1970s (S9), indicate that there are now probably no surviving earthworks at the site.

It should be noted that many of the mapped features are only faintly visible on the aerial photographs and that there is consequently a relatively high chance that at least some of them are not archaeological in origin but are the product of recent agricultural activity. Similarly, further linear marks visible to the east on some of the aerial photographs (for example (S1)), have been interpreted as deriving from modern activity and consequently have not been mapped.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 11 November 2005.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1943. RAF AC/161 5146-7 04-JAN-1943 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945. RAF 106G/UK/832 3199-200 23-SEP-1945 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 2106-7 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 540/690 5336-7 11-MAR-1952 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 82/1214 (F21) 0336-7 06-JUN-1955 (NMR).
<S6>Map: Wright, J.. 1840. Waxham Tithe Map.
<S7>Map: 1840. Horsey Tithe Map. 1 inch : 9 chains.
<S8>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889 - 1891. Ordnance Survey first edition 6 inch map.. 1:10,560.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72053 207-8 23-MAR-1972.

Related records - none

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