Record Details

NHER Number:6681
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Saxthorpe Castle


This is the site of Saxthorpe Castle, a medieval moated manor house visible on aerial photographs. Excavation has revealed flint walls, and building material dating from the medieval to the post medieval periods, as well as coins, pottery and other metalwork.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 10 31
Map Sheet:TG13SW

Full description

Alleged site of Saxthorpe Castle.
T. McClough (NCM)

RAF air photographs suggest moated house site of Lound Hall.
A. P. Baggs (NAU)

(S1) states that the Castle was that of William de Valence.

Excavation of lengths of flint wall in field by owner; pottery, bones and nails also found.
See (S2) and (S3) which states there was brick in the wall and a large area of burning.
Tiles were also found.
Field is called Prospect Point.

1980. Found with metal detecting on this site, ploughed field.
Barbarous radiate coin, irregular copy of Postumus 259 to 68 AD.
Identified A. Gregory (NAU)
Long cross penny Edward II (1307-27) Canterbury mint.
15th century copper alloy casket key.
Two lead weights, one with suspension hole, other cruciform with central boss perhaps originally with suspension hole, undatable.
1749 token Norwich of Richard Bacon, Cockey Lane.
George I and George III halfpennies.
S. Margeson (NCM) 12 June 1980.

D.Edwards (NLA) states that the RAF photograph number given is incorrect and cannot be traced (However it was correct, was later found and is filed as TG13/1031/A.)
The photograph is reproduced in (S2) and shows a large dark rectangular enclosure surrounding a black square.
(S2) shows the excavated wall.

Site visited by E. Rose with the new owner on 11 November 1993.
The location of the cropmark and wall is surprisingly on a slope, recently ploughed.
No finds in field, but some patches of light sandy clay showing through soil at top, no coherent pattern.
Two fragments of undatable mortared flint thrown into the wood at foot of slope are said to come from the wall.
E. Rose (NLA) 12 November 1993.

28 February 1994.
1 diamond-rouletted jar rim Thetford-type.
1 base medieval unglazed.
A. Rogerson (NLA) 2 March 1994.

3 medieval unglazed.
1 unglazed Grimston.
4 Glazed Red Earthenware, 1 post medieval stoneware.
1 schist hone fragment of unknown date.
1 large hunk of medieval brick.
Other small fragments of medieval and post medieval brick, post medieval roof tiles.
A. Rogerson (NLA) 13 April 1994.

August/September 1995. Metal detecting finds.
1 Roman coin. See list in file.
?Middle Saxon or Late Saxon, Viking, buckle frame fragment.
Double frame, broken, with 2 animal heads in the round, one with projecting trefoil lobe, Ringerike affinities.
Animal head is cat-like, with round ring-and-dot eyes.
Identified S. Margeson (NCM).
A. Rogerson (NLA) 10 November 1995.

In the early 14th century Aylmer of Valance, Earl of Pembroke, built a manor house, probably on this site, see (S4). It seems unlikely that Aylmer, who also owned Castle Acre, built a castle here, and the large moated site on the RAF aerial photograph is more likely to be a medieval manor house, probably of some size and status.
Cozens-Hardy, in (S5), writes that 'there is no castle here, or the vestige of one'.
S. Spooner (NLA) 8 September 2005

Monument Types

  • HEARTH (Undated)
  • WALL (Undated)
  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • NAIL (Undated)
  • POT (Undated)
  • TILE (Undated)
  • WEIGHT (Undated)
  • WHETSTONE (Undated)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • KEY (LOCKING) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RAF 106G/UK/1428 4362-3 (TG13/TG1031/A).
---Unpublished Document: D'Arcy B.Collyer. Report on the Lothian MSS..
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 13 SW 2; TG 13 SW 6.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Publication: Rye, W.. 1916. Castles and Manor Houses From the Conquest to the Present Time. pp 52-53.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Corpusty.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Monograph: Bryant, J.. 1900. Norfolk Churches..
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1972. Foundations and bones. 29 February.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Barringer, C.. 1972. Report on provate excavation at Saxthorpe.
<S4>Article in Serial: Blake, W. J. 1952. Norfolk Manorial Lords in 1316 (Parts I and II). Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXX pp 234-286.
<S5>Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy, B.. 1957. The Holt Road. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXI pp 163-177. p 174.

Related records - none

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