Record Details

NHER Number:5688
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval moated site and Santon deserted medieval village at St Helen's picnic site


The earthworks of a medieval to post medieval moated manor and associated complex, part of Santon deserted medieval village, survive close to St Helen's picnic site. They have been the subject of ground surveys, and are visible on aerial photographs and on imagery from a lidar survey flown in 2015. The moated site is sub-rectangular in plan and the ditch has become partly infilled. Boundary banks and other features can be seen around the moat, principally to its west and north. Finds of medieval pottery and other artefacts provide further evidence that this is the site of Santon deserted medieval village and manor.


  • The earthworks of a moated medieval manorial site  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TL 82 87
Map Sheet:TL88NW

Full description

Earthworks of deserted medieval village and moated manorial site.

1975. Casual find.
Medieval sherds.

1979. Casual find.
Medieval sherds.

1985. Casual find.
Medieval sherds and flint flake.

1987. Casual find.
Medieval sherds.

1988 to 1989. Casual finds.
Medieval sherds.

1990 and 1991.
Worked flints, medieval and post medieval sherds.

April 1995. Earthwork Survey and Archaeological Assessment.
Other than the well defined moat the surface remains are of limited extent and form.
Medieval sherds and tile found.
See report (S1) for further details and copy of plan (S4).
A. Rogerson (NLA) 30 March 1997.

September 1999. Watching Brief.
Maintained during construction of wheelchair access, path extensions and dredging operations at Santon moated site.
No archaeological finds or features observed.
No report produced.
C.F. Mecksepper (NAU), 22 May 2000. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 8 February 2017.

Scheduled Ancient Monument Management Plan March 2002 to March 2007.
See (S2).
D. Gurney (NLA), 24 April 2002.

Before 27 February 2003.
One base sherd of post medieval glazed red earthenware.
One undated irregular fragment of lead.
Undated bi-conical lead weight (46.55g) with central perforation.
See (S3) in file.
E. Darch (NLA), 25 November 2003.

January/February 2004. Surface finds in disturbed ground near car park.
Roman, Late Saxon, medieval and post medieval sherds.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 16 March 2004.]

August 2017. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
The medieval to post medieval moated site described above is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs (such as S5-S6), and on imagery from a recent lidar survey (S7). Banks and a rectilinear platform are visible on the island within the moat; these represent the remains of buildings which once occupied the site. A series of boundary features, together with two irregularly-shaped pits, are visible in the area surrounding the moat. Their date and function are not known; they could relate to the medieval settlement of Santon, but are not immediately recognisable as settlement features. As many of the features were mapped from 1940s aerial photographs, it is possible that some have since been levelled.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 2nd August 2017.

Monument Types

  • BOUNDARY BANK (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY BANK (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING PLATFORM (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • WALL? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • WEIGHT (Unknown date)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Undated)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Middle Neolithic to 18th Century - 3500 BC to 1800 AD)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOKEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Allison, K. J. 1955. The Lost Villages of Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXI pp 116-162. p 156.
---Serial: 1975. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1975. No 22. p 8.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF193.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Designation: Corbishley, M.. 1983. AM107.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TL 88 NW 7 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Unpublished Document: Sussums, K.. 1995. Watching brief - St Helen's picnic site, Lynford, 19/7/95. 20 July.
---Publication: JGC. 1969. AM7.
---Monograph: 1846. Guide to the Norfolk Railway.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Lynford.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF193.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF193.
<S1>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1995. St Helen's Picnic Site, Santon. Brief Archaeological Assessment for Forest Enterprise. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S2>Unpublished Document: English Heritage. 2002. English Heritage Management Agreement.
<S3>Map: Finder's Map..
<S4>Illustration: Cushion, B. 1995. Plan of earthworks at (Santon St Helen's Picnic Site). Film. 1:1000.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/59 V 5150-5151 05-FEB-1946 (HEA Original Print).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/CPE/UK/2021 RP 3067-3068 21-APR-1947 (HEA Original Print).
<S7>LIDAR Airborne Survey: Various. LIDAR Airborne Survey. LIDAR Santon Forest Research 0.5m DTM 15-JUL-2015 (BNG Project, FC England, Fugro Geospatial).

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62113Related to: Possible site of medieval settlement (Monument)

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