Record Details

NHER Number:6221
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced ?Palaeolithic worked flints (Kelling, poorly located)


During the early 20th century it is reported that a number of potentially Palaeolithic worked flints were recovered at unknown locations in Kelling. It does however appear that the published examples would now be regarded as potentially dubious artefacts. At least two museums now hold potentially Palaeolithic worked flints that are associated with an unspecific Kelling provenance.

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Full description

Potentially Palaeolithic worked flints known to have been recovered in Kelling, but with only limited additional information regarding provenance.


Pre 1929. Field Observation.
In 1929 J. Reid Moir reported a number of other flints recovered from the so-called "cannon-shot gravels" that he believed to be Palaeolithic artefacts (S3). These objects were found by J. Reid Moir, J. E. Sainty and G. Maynard as part of research funded by the Percy Sladen Trust. The pieces listed and illustrated in (S3) include a "chopper" found "…at the large pits at Kelling". Although, like many of Moir's finds, this does not look particularly convincing it was however listed by Roe (S4) as a potentially Palaeolithic object. Although Wymer (S5) notes that this flint has a striking platform and two cones of percussion, he nevertheless regarded it as dubious and "…certainly not 'a well-made chopper of Early Mousterian type'" as suggested by Moir. This object is also noted on (S6) and in (S7) and (S8), although no additional information is given.

The location of the "large pits" mentioned by Moir is unclear, although it appears that there were once several on the main road between Salthouse and Weybourne.


Ipswich Museum:

Pre 1932. Stray Find.
Found by J. Reid Moir:
1 "Clactonian flake, found in situ…in Cannon Shot gravel". Donated to Ipswich Museum and noted in (S1).
Information from (S2).
Around this time Moir published accounts of numberous supposedly Palaeolithic flints that had been recovered from this part of the Norfolk coast. The majority are now regarded as extremely dubious artefacts (see above).

Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology:

This museum holds two flint flakes from Kelling:
1 ?Palaeolithic flint flake. Maroon. Marked as being from "Kelling Gravel Pits" (Z 29514).
1 ?Palaeolithic "chipped flint" (1930.26 A). Recorded as being "from glacial gravels" and donated by J. Reid Moir.
Information from museum records.

Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 31 July 2014.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC? to 10001 BC?)

Associated Finds

  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Upper Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • WORKED OBJECT? (Lower Palaeolithic to Upper Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 10001 BC?)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Article in Serial: Breuil, H. 1932. Les Industries a eclat du Paleolithique. Prehistoire. Vol I pp 125-190. p 170; Fig 19.
<S2>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S3>Article in Serial: Moir, J. Reid. 1929. Palaeolithic Implements from the Cannon-Shot Gravel of Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol VI Pt I (for 1928) pp 1-11. pp 8-9; Fig 10.
<S4>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8. p 234.
<S5>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 19.
<S6>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. Kelling.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: 1997. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Regions 8 (East Anglian Rivers) and 11 (Trent Drainage). Wessex Archaeology. CR-2, No.2.
<S8>Website: TERPS online database. Site 22447.

Related records - none

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