Monument record WLN 061 - Earthworks of a field system of possible medieval date

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Summary

The earthworks of a field system of uncertain, but possibly medieval date are visible on aerial photographs on Westleton Walks heath. The earthworks of fields and/or stock enclosures defined by banks and ditches, with probable trackways running in-between are most clearly visible on aerial photographs from the 1950s, but the LIDAR DTM data would suggest that some components of these earthworks still survive. Further investigation, management and protection of these earthworks is essential.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 4519 6772 (544m by 575m)
Map sheet TM46NE
Civil Parish WESTLETON, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (6)

Full Description

February 2015. Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Beauty National Mapping Programme.
The earthworks of a field system of uncertain, but possibly medieval date, are visible on aerial photographs on Westleton Walks heath (S1-S4). The earthworks of fields and/or stock enclosures defined by banks and ditches, with probable trackways running in-between are most clearly visible on aerial photographs from the 1950s (S2-S3), but the LIDAR DTM data would suggest that some components of these earthworks still survive. Further manipulation of the LIDAR data may reveal a clearer picture of the level of survival, but obviously field investigation is required. Further investigation, management and protection of these earthworks is essential.
The date of these fields and/or stock enclosures is uncertain. The ‘neatness’ of some of the earthwork banks would probably suggest that they are of historic date and it is worth noting that the majority of the features are located on an area of land not depicted as heathland on Hodskinson’s map of 1783 (S5), which could add to the interpretation that these are historic in date, rather than a rare survivor of later prehistoric or Roman fields on the heathland. However it must be noted that the trackway that bisects the site would appear to run this course on the 1783 map (S5), suggesting at least a medieval date. Another area of earthworks has been identified on the heath to the south (WLN 060). It is likely that these may be broadly contemporary and potentially originally part of the same phase of features, but have been recorded separately. A relationship with the field boundaries recorded as cropmarks and soilmarks to the immediate east (WLN 075) is also suggested by the mapping and it is likely that at least some of them are contemporary, despite the slight change in orientation and layout.

Some components of this field system are clearly visible on (S6) also.
S. Horlock (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 28th February 2015.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1557 RV 6237-6238 07-JUN-1946 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S2> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/58/2378 V 0130-0131 28-FEB-1958 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S3> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/58/1674 F22 0155-0156 04-MAR-1955 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S4> LIDAR Airborne Survey: LIDAR airborne survey. LIDAR TM4567 Environment Agency 2m DTM 25-JUL-2011.
  • <S5> Cartographic materials: Hodskinson. Hodskinson map, 1783.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jul 10 2015 4:14PM

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