Monument record THE 031 - Thelnetham Fen

Please read our .


Evaluation failed to identify any archaeological features, but radiocarbon dates obtained from monolith samples indicated that the fen started to form 8000 years ago and pollen samples show possible human tree clearance activity, see details.


Grid reference Centred TM 0139 7893 (197m by 102m)
Map sheet TM07NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

In December 2008 an archaeological trench evaluation was undertaken at Thelnetham Fen, Suffolk in order to mitigate the impact resulting from the removal of up to 1m of degraded peat and peaty topsoil required for the fen restoration project being undertaken by the Little Ouse Headwaters Project (LOHP). Apart from possible drainage channels or linear peat cuttings no archaeology was found. However, environmental monolith samples were taken, and at the request of LOHP, the pollen was examined from an undisturbed section of the upper 1m of peat, and a section of the lower peat recovered from a testpit dug on a deeper section of the fen basin (1.85m deep) in June 2009. Radiocarbon dates obtained from this lower monolith show that fen mire development began here some 8000 years ago (7170 +/-50 BP), during which period peat accumulation was reasonably rapid. The pollen record is interesting in that it shows a number of increases in tree pollen (chiefly of oak and from 6000 BC of pine) with an expansion of wet meadow flora and persistence of fen aquatics in between. With the exception of one peak in Plantago lanceolata and Chenopodium around 6000 BC suggesting possible human disturbance associated with clearance, there are few obvious indicators of anthropogenic activity (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Timberlake S. 2010. An archaeological evaluation and palaeoenvironmental investigation of Thelnetham Fen, Suffolk.

Finds (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jun 16 2020 1:40PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.