Record Details

NHER Number:43426
Type of record:Monument
Name:Undated multi period field system, at High Barn Farm


A multi period field system is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs of this area. At least two distinct phases can be distinguished but the date of these phases are not known. However, the prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, medieval and post medieval material recovered in the vicinity of the site could indicate dates for at least some elements of the field system.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4833 1841
Map Sheet:TG41NE

Full description

March 2006. Norfolk NMP.
Some of the cropmarks described below were previously recorded as part of NHER 13179.

An extensive multi-period field system of unknown date is visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs (S1)-(S5), centred at TG 4836 1840. At least two phases can be distinguished. One, visible mainly over the southern half of the site, comprises two sinuous trackways or double ditched boundaries aligned east to west. These are visible intermittently between TG 4816 1822 and TG 4856 1823, and between TG 4802 1838 and TG 4843 1837 (and perhaps as far east as TG 4864 1847). What may have been a third trackway, positioned an equal distance to the south, is visible between TG 4846 1807 and TG 4852 1808. Single ditches join to these trackways at roughly perpendicular angles, forming a number of fields. A small rectilinear enclosure in the corner of one of these fields (at TG 4829 1823) may have had some kind of specialised function. The trackways may continue to the west as part of the multi-period field system recorded as NHER 11650, the earliest elements of which may date to the Bronze Age, the latest to the post medieval period. To the east, they may join to another field system, NHER 13073, which has been dated tentatively to the medieval to early post medieval period. This phase of field system almost certainly post-dates the probable prehistoric burial mounds it surrounds; for example, some of the ditches appear to be laid out around one of the ring ditches (NHER 43429).

The second phase, visible to the north, is characterised by single and double linear ditches oriented northwest to southeast. Secondary ditches oriented northeast to southwest meet these at 90 degrees or at a slight angle. The latter orientation is shared by some of the field boundaries recorded in the adjacent field to the west as part of the multi-period field system NHER 11650. The dating of this phase of activity is even less clear than for the elements described above. The ditches seem likely, however, to post-date the large, possibly prehistoric ring ditches (NHER 43425) which some of them overlap. One northwest to southeast boundary appears to respect the larger ring ditch, which it passes on its southwest side, while the break in a northeast to southwest aligned ditch at the centre of the same ring ditch may reflect the former presence of an internal feature such as a mound. This suggests that the ditches were laid out around pre-existing features. It also suggests that more than one ‘sub-phase’ is represented, with the northwest to southeast boundaries perhaps laid out first, respecting the existing ring ditches, followed by the northeast to southwest boundaries, which ignored the ring ditches themselves (by now perhaps levelled) but respected a surviving internal feature.

The field system is visible across an area measuring approximately 780m by 640m. The fields described above are broadly rectilinear in shape and measure from 138m by 63m to 157m by 87m. The rectilinear enclosure measures 35m by 25m and may be partitioned internally. It should be noted that due to a lack of control points some of the photographs could not be fully rectified, and this is likely to have affected the accuracy of the mapping.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 24 March 2006.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY DITCH (Unknown date)
  • FIELD (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)
  • TRACKWAY (Unknown date)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1963. RAF 543/2331 (F21) 0088-9 25-JUL-1963 (NMR).
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1973. NHER TG 4818K (CUCAP BOB92) 05-JUL-1973.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1976. CUCAP (BYJ34) 29-JUN-1976.
<S4>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1976. NHER TG 4818D-G (NLA 32/AGC4-7) 13-JUL-1976.
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Jeavons, A.. 1996. NHER TG 4818Q-U (NLA KRD14-8) 20-AUG-1996.

Related records - none

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