Record Details

NHER Number:18126
Type of record:Monument
Name:Two Iron Age or Roman enclosures and other cropmarks


The cropmarks of two large rectangular enclosures with rounded corners of probably Iron Age to Roman date are visible on aerial photographs. This site was previously thought to be the location of the cropmark of a possible Neolithic henge but this is now thought to be caused by tractors turning circles in the field. The northernmost enclosure has been the subject of archaeological investigations, although its nature and the condition of any associated features remain uncertain. Although trial trenching in 2007 failed to identify any trace of this feature, a subsequent geophysical survey in 2015 identified anomalies that clearly correspond with the previously identified cropmarks.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 18 14
Map Sheet:TG11SE

Full description

15 September 1981. NAU air photography (S5).
Positive cropmarks. Square enclosure.
D. Edwards (NAU), 5 May 1982.

12 September 1982. Aerial Archaeology Foundation air photography.
Cropmarks. Approximately 100 feet AMSL.
Negative cropmarks of circular feature with opposed entrances. Site seen in stubbles and therefore, despite 'negative' appearance, is of buried ditch (crop having reversed/ripened). Interpretation: possible small class II henge?
D. Edwards (NAU), 18 January 1985.

Beware of many tractor turning circles in same field.
E. Rose (NAU), 11 February 1985.

28 June 1996. NLA air photography.
Cropmarks of previously identified henge not visible, despite excellent conditions of summer 1996. Turning circles seem a likely explanantion, although several curvilinear, half circle features can be seen. Main features of site are two large rectangular enclosures with rounded corners and entrances. These are likely to be Late Iron Age/Roman in date.
S. Massey (NLA), 9 October 2001.

2007. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of site on proposed line of Norwich Northern Distributor Road (Phase 1).
Three trenches excavated in order in investigate northernmost cropmark enclosure at TG 1907 1482.
No corresponding sub-surface features were identified.
See report (S1) and NHERs 61128 and 61132 for further details.
S. Howard (NLA), 25 November 2009. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 29 July 2015.

August 2010. Norfolk NMP.
The cropmarks of a pair of sub-rectangular enclosures of probable Iron Age to Roman date and other ditches, potentially relating to former field boundaries and a trackway, are visible on aerial photographs to the north of Reepham Road, Horsford (S3-S6). The site is centred on TG 1895 1462. The enclosures are both sub-rectangular with predominantly rounded corners and are both approximately 75m by 50m and with at least one wide entrance gap in the ditch circuit. The larger gap in the western arm of the northern enclosure is likely to relate a break in the cropmark response due to underlying geological features. Both of the enclosures are likely to be broadly Iron Age to Roman in date and it is not clear whether they would have been contemporaneous with one another. A number of other sub-rectangular enclosures have been recorded within this area, see NHER 18131 and NHER 36415 for example.
A series of ditches, likely to relate a series of field boundaries and trackways of unknown date, are also recorded across the site. The alignment of some of these features is different to that of the enclosures and they may represent an unrelated development at the site, although this is not certain and it is possible that some of them are broadly contemporary with the southwestern enclosure.
Within the western part of the site is a large area of pit-like features, some of which appear to form semi-circular arrangements, in particular in the area of TG 1887 1473 (S5-S6). The archaeological origin of these features is extremely uncertain and it is possible that they relate to underlying geological deposits rather than manmade pits. However it is feasible that they relate to an area of dispersed pits associated with prehistoric settlement and/or depositional activity – as potentially indicated by the presence of prehistoric flints at the site – although this is not certain. A number of other cropmarks of seemingly geological origin were also omitted from the mapping within the southern extension of the site (S7-S8).
A number of field boundaries relating to post medieval field boundaries were omitted from the mapping, a number of these are depicted on the 1839 Drayton Tithe map (S9).The previously recorded hengiform cropmarks, see above (S2), have been dismissed as marks relating to turning circles within the agricultural field.
S. Horlock (NMP), 12 August 2010.

April 2012-April 2013. Geophysical Survey.
Magnetometry survey on proposed line of Norwich Northern Distributor Road (Block 17).
Two linear anomalies were detected that whilst somewhat faint, clearly correspond with the northern and eastern sides of the northern enclosure. It is unclear why associated features were not identified during the 2007 trial trenching, although it may be that they were plough damaged to the extent that little survived beneath the soil deposits. This suggestion is certainly supported by the fragmentary nature of the anomalies, with an apparent break between the two sides of the enclosure which was not seen in the cropmark evidence.
See report (S10) and NHER 61132 for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 4 August 2015. Amended 13 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • FIELD SYSTEM? (Unknown date)
  • PIT? (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)
  • PIT? (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD?)
  • SETTLEMENT? (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM? (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD?)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD?)
  • TRACKWAY (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 409 AD?)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Trimble, G. and Watkins, P. 2008. Norwich Northern Distributor Route: Archaeological Evaluation by Trial Trenching. NAU Archaeology. 1363.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1981. NHER TG 1814A-B (NLA 121/ARQ4-5) 15-SEP-1981.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. A. (NLA). 1982. NHER TG 1814C (AAF 229/8) 12-SEP-1982.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1987. OS/87150 420-1 11-SEP-1987 (NMR).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D. (NAU). 1996. NHER TG 1914E-L (NLA 365/FFL5-6, 8-10, 14, 16) 28-JUN-1996.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 1814D-G (NLA 365/FFL7, 12-13, 15) 28-JUN-1996.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1952. RAF 58/902 3012-3 25-JUN-1952 (NMR).
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A (AAF). 1982. NHER TG 1814C (AAF 229/18) 12-SEP-1982.
<S9>Map: Pratt & Son, Norwich. 1839. Drayton Tithe map.
<S10>Unpublished Contractor Report: Harrison, S. and Webb, A. 2013. Norwich Northern Distributor Road, Norwich, Norfolk. Geophysical Survey. Archaeological Services WYAS.

Related records - none

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