Record Details

NHER Number:42158
Type of record:Monument
Name:Earthworks of square and polygonal enclosures

Summary

Earthworks of a small square enclosure within an outer triangular enclosure, of medieval to post medieval date, are visible on aerial photographs. The square enclosure is similar to others present in the marshland, with another one located 400m to the northwest (NHER 42157). However, it is unusual in that it has a clearly defined entrance and that it appears to lie within a larger enclosure. It is possible that these small enclosure were sheep cotes, used to pen the animals overnight so that their manure could be collected. The manure was then transported to arable land elsewhere for use as fertiliser. The outer enclosure may have formed a larger area in which to keep livestock.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 49623 09464
Map Sheet:TG40NE
Parish:MAUTBY, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

November 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Earthworks of a small square enclosure within an outer triangular enclosure, of medieval to post medieval date, are visible on aerial photographs (S1-S3). These enclosures are centred on TG 4963 0947. The square enclosure located at TG 4965 0946. It is defined by a 3m wide ditch and measures 18m by 17m externally. A 2.8m wide gap in the ditch on the south side of the enclosure appears to be a deliberate entrance. A raised platform is present inside the enclosure and measures 11m by 12m across. The square enclosure is positioned within a polygonal, but roughly triangular, enclosure. This outer enclosure is defined by a ditch, that measures up to 3m wide. Narrow earthwork banks are present along both sides of this ditch around part of the enclosure. Externally, including the banks, it measures up to 84m by 71m. The eastern side of the enclosure is formed by the flood bank on the western side of the River Bure.

The position of these earthworks on the marshland indicates that they must be of medieval to post medieval date. The square enclosure is similar to others present in the marshland, with another one located 400m to the northwest (NHER 42157). However, it is unusual in that it has a clearly defined entrance and that it appears to lie within a larger enclosure. Information from [1] suggests that the small enclosures are probably sheep cotes. They were used to pen sheep overnight so that their manure could be collected. The manure was then transported from the marshes for use as fertiliser on arable fields on the ‘upland’ (S4). It is possible that the enclosures also contained shepherd’s huts or similar structures. The outer enclosure may have formed a larger area in which to keep livestock. However, it is possible that the ditches that define it served a primarily drainage function and that its relationship to the square enclosure is coincidental. The field had been ploughed and the earthworks levelled by 1963, although it was still visible as soilmarks (S3). The small enclosure has subsequently been cut by the line of a modern drainage ditch.
J. Albone (NMP), 21 November 2005

Monument Types

  • BUILDING PLATFORM? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PLATFORM (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POLYGONAL ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SHEEP FOLD (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STOCK ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4032-3 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TG 4908A-B).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1955. RAF 58/1674 (F21) 333-4 04-MAR-1955 (NMR).
<S3>Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1997. The Norfolk Broads: A Landscape History.. p 46.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1963. RAF 543/2531 (F22) 18-9 14-NOV-1963 (NMR).

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2021 Norfolk Historic Environment Service