Record Details

NHER Number:42084
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cropmarks of medieval and post medieval field boundaries


Cropmarks of a medieval boundary ditch and post medieval fields are visible on aerial photographs. The medieval ditch has a stepped plan and appears to have formed the boundary between the medieval open field strips and Filby Common. Post medieval ditches relating to the enclosure of the common are also present.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 49763 12967
Map Sheet:TG41SE

Full description

October 2005. Norfolk NMP.
Cropmarks of a medieval boundary ditch and post medieval fields are visible on aerial photographs (S1) to (S4). These cropmarks are centred on TG 4976 1298 and were previously recorded as part of NHER 8645 and 11653.

A ditch extends for at least 400m, possibly up to 790m, on a stepped roughly west to east alignment between TG 4943 1302 and TG 4982 1296 or TG 5010 1293. The ditch heads roughly east for 193m before turning south for 20m, then eastwards for another 176m, south again for 20m and finally eastwards for 32m. A slightly offset west to east aligned ditch continues on a similar course for a further 278m. The north to south aligned sections appear as double ditches on slightly different alignments, suggesting several phases of activity. Stepped boundaries of this type often define the edge of medieval strip fields, with each of the short steps relating to the width of single or multiple strips. The position of this ditch appears to roughly correspond to the northern edge of Filby Common shown on Faden’s 1797 map of Norfolk (S5). It is possible that it formed the boundary between the common and the open fields until the enclosure of the parish in 1804 (S6). The common is not shown on Bryant’s 1826 map of Norfolk (S7) and was presumably among the 312 acres of common and waste enclosed in Filby (S6). The stepped boundary ditch lies immediately to the north of the medieval course of the Norwich to Great Yarmouth road (NHER 42047).

A north to south aligned ditch extends from the stepped boundary ditch at TG 5001 1294 towards the 18th century turnpike road (See NHER 42047). Further to the north a linear ditch is aligned parallel to the eastern part of the stepped ditch. It extends for 165m between TG 4977 1305 and TG 4993 1303. Between this ditch and the stepped ditch at TG 4990 1297 and TG 4979 1300 are north to south aligned ditches which may represent post medieval field boundaries. The westernmost of these ditches appears to form one side of an incomplete rectilinear enclosure that measures 33m by 40m. A small rectangular enclosure, measuring 8m by 12m is present in the northeast corner of this enclosure. A second possible enclosure is located in its northwest corner. It is likely that these fields are of post medieval date and they probably relate to the enclosure of Filby Common in 1804.
J. Albone (NMP), 24 October 2005

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 4912A-C (NLA 31/AFT9-11) 08-JUL-1976.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP BYB84 24-JUN-1976.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 4913F (NLA 31/AFT16) 08-JUL-1976.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 4912AB (NLA 362/JDN3) 19-JUN-1996.
<S5>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S6>Publication: Tate, W.E.. 1978. A Domesday of English Enclosure Acts and Awards. p 180.
<S7>Map: Bryant, A.. 1826. Bryant's Map of Norfolk.

Related records - none

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