Monument record SUE 022 - Sudbourne Marshes

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An irregular enclosure defined by banks on Sudbourne marshes, circa 1km to the north east of Raydon Hall, Sudbourne


Grid reference Centred TM 439 513 (608m by 523m) Centred on
Map sheet TM45SW


Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Irregular enclosure defined by banks enclosing circa 18 hectares on W bank of River Alde/Ore. Otherwise in low marshy area. Surrounded by drains on all sides. Some features shown on John Norden's maps 18 & 19 of circa 1600, where named as `Thomas Hughes Oxmarshe' (S1)(R1).
1950s: Banks shown on OS 1:10560 map on W, N, E & W half of S side (S2). 1978: S portion of E earthwork (and ditch) no longer shown on 1:10000 map (S2).
Note irregular field systems (?marsh reclamation) to N & SW (see SUE Misc).
An irregularly shaped enclosure bounded by an earthwork bank can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa TM43935139 (S3-4). The enclosure bank is approximately 8m wide and is marked, as mentioned above, as `Thomas Hughes Oxmarshe' on a 1601 map by Norden. The bank is interrupted in several places by drainage ditches that are presumably related to later Post Medieval phases of enclosure and drainage. Two further areas of damage to the bank are visible on 1943 and 1945 photograph, one on the southern side approximately 250m in length and one on the northern side nearly 40m long. These probably result from ploughing or drainage activities. In both of these areas the low remains of the bank can be seen. The enclosure bank is still visible on aerial photographs of 1955 (S5), but it appears to have suffered further damage and is less well defined in sections than on the earlier photographs, although the precise cause is unclear from the photographs. Up to 1955 it is still possible to see the enclosure's relationship with a number of other earthwork features in the immediate area, most notably in the way that the form of the enclosure appears to have been at least partly determined by, if not part of the development of the flood defences in Orford and Sudbourne parishes. It may be possible to see elements of the piecemeal development of the flood defences, possibly from the late Medieval or early Post Medieval periods onward, reflected in the shape of the enclosure. The curving southern portion of the enclosure and the earthwork banks to the west seem to coincide with the Orford/Sudbourne parish boundary, possibly suggesting that the rest of the enclosure was constructed to take advantage of pre-existing banks on this line (see ORF 055). Further banks to the north of the enclosure are possibly the remains of medieval causeways and more flood defences, and the extensions to the flood defences to east are probably later Post Medieval (see SUE 081, SUE 082, ORF 086). Much of the enclosure bank is still visible on photographs of 1972, although further damage to the northern and south-western sections has occurred, and the eastern section has been completely destroyed, probably by ploughing (S6).

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <R1> (No record type): Norden J, maps showing the estates of Sir Michael Stanhope, circa 1600.
  • <S1> (No record type): Buisseret D, `Perambulating the County of Suffolk (England) with John Norden, 1600', Mapline, 63, Au.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish Files. (S1).
  • <M2> (No record type): APs: OS 72 057/016, 017 046.
  • <S2> Map: OS. OS Map. Circa 1950s.
  • <S3> Photograph: USAAF. USAAF Air Photograph. US 7PH/GP/LOC132 5043-4 30-DEC-1943.
  • <S4> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/832 4163-4 23-SEP-45.
  • <S5> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/1674 0126-7 04-MAR-1955.
  • <S6> Photograph: OS, AP. NMR OS/72057 017-18 24-MAR-1972.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 15 2013 4:39PM

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