Monument record CAM 041 - Cavenham Heath

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Rectangular earthwork, long and narrow, possibly a sheepcote.


Grid reference Centred TL 75181 72464 (8m by 21m)
Map sheet TL77SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Small rectangular earthwork on the west side of Cavenham Heath. It measures 24 paces N-S by 7 paces E-W, the sides are made of low earth banks about 2 paces wide, but thicker at the north and south ends where the external edges are less distinct. Banks are about 0.5m high. The internal area measures 18 paces N-S by 4 paces E-W. There are no obvious entrances; a break in the west side may have been caused by a sheep path. The earthwork is covered by long heathland grass (S1).
The earthwork is not shown on the Cavenham enclosure map of 1802 (only an area of open heath is shown)(S2). It seems to show, but only small, on RAF aerial photographs taken in 1946 (S3) but does not show on the 1986 aerial photographs (taken when the heath was more overgrown)(S4).
The morphology of the earthwork is very similar to that of late medieval sheepcotes (builidngs for the shelter of flocks and the storage of fodder) in Gloucestershire (S5) and this is the likely explanation for this earthwork. Sheepcotes are recorded in Suffolk documents but have not really been identified before now (S6).

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: English Heritage. Site Report. Martin E, SCCAS, 2001.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Map with sketch plan.
  • <S2> Source Checked: Suffolk Record Office. SRO(B), Q/R1.10.
  • <S3> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. NMR 1069/UK/1589 frames 4100 & 4103, 21/6/1946.
  • <S4> Photograph: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Air Photograph. SCC 35, 86, 013 & 014, 28, 86, 196-198, 29 & 15/6/1986.
  • <S5> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Dyer C, Sheepcotes: Evidence for Medieval Sheepfarming, Med Arch XXXIX, 1995, 136-164.
  • <S6> Unpublished document: Survey. Sussams K, The Breckland Archaeological Survey, 1996, 85.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 10 2001 12:00AM

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