Record Details

NHER Number:14099
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmarks of a possible Early Saxon linear earthwork


Cropmarks of a possible Early Saxon linear earthwork are visible on aerial photographs. It appears to be a defensive dyke comprising a narrow ditch and bank adjacent to a wide ditch and bank. The dyke extends across a peninsula formed by the Rivers Bure and Ant. It is similar to Anglo Saxon defensive dykes elsewhere in the county and may be of this date.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 3570 1684
Map Sheet:TG31NE

Full description

Linear earthwork as crop and soilmark and earthwork.
Noted by (S1), (S2), (S3) and (S4).
For details see publication in (S5).
E. Rose (NAU), 28 May 1982.

19 July 1996. NLA air photography.
Good, very clear images. Two ditches visible: one wide, one narrow running parallel to each other.
M. Brennand (NLA), 20 August 2001.

March 2007. Norfolk NMP
Cropmarks of a linear banks and ditches of possible early Anglo-Saxon date are visible on aerial photographs (S6-S9). The central grid reference for these cropmarks is TG 3572 1684. Cropmarks of linear banks and ditches are present on a southwest to northeast alignment. They are visible for 518m between TG 3553 1667, close to Horning parish church (NHER 8459), to TG 3588 1702. The northwest side of this linear feature is defined by a narrow ditch, measuring 6.5m wide, with an 11m wide bank to its southeast. Adjacent to this is a ditch ranging form 11m to 22m in width with a further 12m wide bank to its southeast. The cropmarks of the two ditches are visible along the whole length of the linear feature, but the banks are only visible to the southwest of Church Road. Cropmarks of linear ditches and banks extend at right angles to the main linear feature and are likely to be field boundaries leading away from it. One of the ditches appears to cross the cropmarks of the banks suggesting that it had been cut after the banks had been levelled.

This linear feature extended across a peninsula of land between the River Bure, to the south, and the Ant to the north. The marshland associated with these rivers would have meant that the banks and ditches formed a defensive barrier across the peninsula effectively cutting it off. The medieval abbey of Holm St Benet’s (NHER 5199) is located further along the peninsula (S10). The bank and ditch were first recorded as an earthwork in the eighteenth century but had been levelled by 1831 (S5). It has been suggested that this defensive earthwork was of Early Anglo-Saxon date based on its similarity to other linear earthworks in the county. There is no artefactual evidence to support this date but Middle Anglo-Saxon pottery has been found immediately to its east (NHER 8446). It is possible that the ditch continues to the north to the edge of the marshland as NHER 49282.
J. Albone (NMP), 26 March 2007

For a similar feature, see the Fleam Dyke, Horningsea, Cambridgeshire. This cuts off a similar horn-shaped peninsula with an important Anglo-Saxon church of royal status.
D. Gurney (NLA), 9 October 2009.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DYKE (DEFENCE) (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • DYKE (DEFENCE)? (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • LINEAR FEATURE? (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Publication: Woodward, S.. 1829-31. [unknown]. Correspondence.
<S2>Monograph: Norris. c.1780. History of Flegg..
<S3>Monograph: Carrodus, C.F.. c 1946. Life in a Norfolk Village: the story of Old Horning.. 49.
<S4>Article in Serial: 1892. Appendix. Extracts from the Proceedings of the Committee and at General Meetings. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XI pp 359-373. p 365.
<S5>Article in Monograph: Rose, E. 1982. A Linear Earthwork at Horning. Trowse, Horning, Deserted Medieval Villages. East Anglian Archaeology. No 14 pp 35-39.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1974. SMR TG 3516A (CUCAP RC8-AO 34) 07-MAY-1974.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 3516D-E (NLA 87/APG27-28) 30-JUN-1980.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 3516H-M (NLA 157/AXW24-28) 19-JUL-1996.
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 3516P-R (NLA 373/JBF14-16) 19-JUL-1996.
<S10>Monograph: Pestell, T.. 2004. Landscapes of Monastic Foundation: The Establishment of Religious Houses in East Anglia, c. 650-1200.. pp 138-142.

Related records

49282Parent of: Earthworks of undated ditches and pits (Monument)

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