Monument record RLM 072 - Cropmarks relating to the main Rendlesham complex

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Summary

A large and complex multi-phase area of cropmarks, broadly thought to range in date from the Roman, Saxon and medieval periods – although other earlier and later components are likely to be included – are visible on aerial photographs. These cropmarks relate to the core of the late Roman and Saxon settlement and Saxon Royal residence (RLM 013) and form part of the wider Rendlesham complex, which includes a complex area of medieval enclosures and lanes clustered around the former green. Cropmark response on this area is generally relatively poor and consequently the cropmark clarity reflects this, with many features representing only fragments of the landscape revealed by the geophysical survey. Due to the overlapping and fragmentary nature of the cropmarks –combined with elements that continue across boundaries of existing HER sites (RLM 012, RLM 013, RLM 14, RLM 043 and EKE 019) – the cropmarks relating to this core of the Rendlesham site have been grouped together. Elements relating to more coherent features, such as the Iron Age D-shaped enclosure (RLM 073), a possible Saxon hall (RLM 061) and group of possible sunken-floored structures (RLM 063) and a Second World War searchlight battery (RLM 062) have been recorded separately.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 3248 5308 (748m by 770m)
Map sheet TM35SW
Civil Parish RENDLESHAM, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (12)

Full Description

June 2015. Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Beauty National Mapping Programme.
A large and complex multi-phase area of cropmarks, broadly thought to range in date from the Roman, Saxon and medieval periods – although other earlier and later components are likely to be included – are visible on aerial photographs (S1-S8). These cropmarks relate to the core of the late Roman and Saxon settlement and Saxon Royal residence (RLM 013) and form part of the wider Rendlesham complex (S9-S10), which also includes a complex area of early medieval enclosures and lanes clustered around the former green. Cropmark response on this area is generally relatively poor and consequently the cropmark clarity reflects this, with many features representing only fragments of the landscape revealed by the geophysical survey (S9).

Due to the overlapping and fragmentary nature of the cropmarks –combined with elements that continue across boundaries of existing HER sites (RLM 012, RLM 013, RLM 14, RLM 043 and EKE 019) – the cropmarks relating to this core of the Rendlesham site have been grouped together. Elements relating to more coherent features, such as the Iron Age D-shaped enclosure (RLM 073), a possible Saxon hall (RLM 061) and group of possible sunken-floored structures (RLM 063) and a Second World War searchlight battery (RLM 062) have been recorded separately. Further analysis of the mapping, combined with results of existing and future evaluations and surface assemblage analysis, would allow for more complex and meaningful phasing of the cropmarks to be undertaken – but this would need to be undertaken as part of a wider interpretation of both the cropmarks and geophysics as part of the Rendlesham project.

The main component of the complex is several phases of broad boundary ditches that divide up and/or ‘define’ the main area of the complex. The major N-S boundary, which runs broadly along the contour, was dated to Anglo-Saxon period in the evaluation trenches, and appears to be associated with 7th - 8th centuries activity and settlement (S11). The Saxon midden deposit, appears to have built up against a palisade associated with this major boundary.

In the proximity of the possible hall (RLM 061) the boundary ditches would appear to form a large rectangular enclosed area. The northern area of boundaries and trackways (formerly RLM 012), which were mainly visible on (S3), are also likely to represent several phases, although a Saxon to medieval date could be suggested for the bulk of the features. A possible linear arrangement of large pits or sub-rectangular hollows in this area (TM 3249 5336) could feasibly relate to a structure or settlement. Two other groups of large sub-rectilinear pits (TM 3273 5283 and TM 3245 5289) were also visible identified.

The bulk of the features within the northeastern field (RLM 043) would appear to correlate to the medieval green-edge lanes and enclosures identified on the geophysics (S9) or to features adjoining them. Although it is possible that some of them relate to earlier phases of boundaries and fields. The shared orientation of these boundaries and those recorded to the northeast (RLM 067/RLM 037) must also be noted.
S. Horlock (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 9th June 2015.

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <S1> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/58/76 V 5042-5044 27-JUL-1948 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S2> Oblique Aerial Photograph: Oblique aerial photograph. CUCAP CQ079 24-JUN-1949 (Print).
  • <S3> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. CUCAP RC8-FR 44-46 14-JUL-1983 (Print).
  • <S4> Oblique Aerial Photograph: Oblique aerial photograph. NMR 26366/18 30-JUN-2009 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S5> Oblique Aerial Photograph: Oblique aerial photograph. NMR 26366/22 30-JUN-2009 (EHA Original Print).
  • <S6> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 03-AUG-2007 ACCESSED 03-APR-2015 (Digital).
  • <S7> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 25-MAY-2011 ACCESSED 04-MAY-2015 (Digital).
  • <S8> Oblique Aerial Photograph: Oblique aerial photograph. NMR 27102_020 30-JUN-2011 (EHA Digital).
  • <S9> Unpublished document: Plouviez J. 2009. Archaeological Survey Report, Naunton Hall, Rendlesham, RLM 011, 012, 013, 014, 036.
  • <S10> Unpublished document: Plouviez, J. & Scull, C.. 2012. Rendlesham, Suffolk: Ploughzone Archaeology (English Heritage Project Number 6471). Progress Report for 2011 – 2012.
  • <S11> Unpublished document: Caruth J., Minter F., Plouviez J. & Scull C.. 2014. Rendlesham, Park and Sand Walk RLM 054 and 055 Post-Excavation Assessment Report. SCCAS Report No. 2014/130.

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Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 19 2019 2:35PM

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