Monument record FEX 087 - Holmhill; Felixstowe marshes

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Cropmark of ploughed out bank and enclosure, Felixstowe


Grid reference Centred TM 318 379 (408m by 530m) Centred on
Map sheet TM33NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Cropmark of N side of ploughed out(?) curvilinear enclosure bank to NW of Holmhill Farm (S1). Name suggestive of slight rise in Felixstowe Marshes. Isolated setting with River Deben to E, Kings Fleet to N and tributary to W. May just be flood defence bank but similar to MSax island settings such as Brandon (BRD 018) and Burrow Hill (BUT 001). Compares well with Sudbourne 022.
In middle of field - cropmark of a rectilinear enclosure (S2).
Features plotted as part of the Suffolk Coastal NMP project. A well-defined sub-rectangular ditched enclosure is visible with a clearly defined entrance to the east. Another more poorly defined feature could be a similar enclosure, although the ditches appear to peter out. (S2) The bank to the north of this feature shows clearly on (S3) and although its nature suggests it is a flood bank, it is not depicted on any of the historic maps examined for the project. In a site visit by Linzi Everett of Suffolk County Council on the 4th March 2004 no material was recovered to support the interpretation of a red mark shown on (S4) and (S5) at TM 32123803 as an Iron Age or Roman salt production site or "red hill" (S6). (S7)

2018: LiDAR analysis showed that Holmhill, a low summit close to the mouth of the river Deben, may once have been an island site. A magnetometry survey by SAFG was undertaken to evaluate cropmarks previously identified on the higher ground and establish if more could be found. The results showed a ditched enclosure well away from the site of a demolished modern farmstead. However, magnetically noisy material had been ploughed out from the slopes, therefore the magnetometer survey showed very little in this area. A bowl-shaped depression was identified at the centre of the enclosure; this may once have been where material for road repairs was removed two generations ago, according to one local source.
Included in the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History annual round up of individual finds and discoveries for 2018. (S8)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> (No record type): OS, AP, 86 088 040, June 1986.
  • <M1> (No record type): APs: OS 86 088 040; Essex C C CP/96/17.
  • <S2> Photograph: Essex County Council. Air Photograph. Essex C C, Strachan D, AP, CP/96/17.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 543/2326 F21 0416 23-JUL-1963.
  • <S4> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. NMR TM 3138/1 (23282/31) 25-SEP-2003.
  • <S5> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. NMR TM 3238/13 (23282/33) 25-SEP-2003.
  • <S6> Verbal communication: Everett, L.. 2002. Linzi Everett - Verbal Communication. 05-MAR-2004.
  • <S7> Verbal communication: Newsome, S.. 2001 -. Suffolk Coastal NMP Project. Sarah Newsome 16/03/04.
  • <S8> Article in serial: Minter, F., Rolfe, J. and Saunders, A.. 2019. Archaeology in Suffolk 2018, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Nov 1 2019 4:09PM

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