Monument record FKM 005 - Ringwork in Burnthall Plantation

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Circular earthwork called Burnthall Plantation. Scheduled


Grid reference Centred TL 912 760 (121m by 116m)
Map sheet TL97NW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Circular earthwork called Burnthall Plantation..
1978: Earthwork had a near circular dry outer ditch and an inner bank up to 8 feet high. The original west entrance was probably only 5m wide but on the south side of the entrance the bank has been disturbed and largely flattened for about 40 yards. The interior is low lying and has a shallow water filled depression within it. Situated on a low spur projecting into the floodplain on the east bank of the river. Area is under pasture. Trees around the edge of the inner bank. Straw dumped on outer edge of the ditch.
1981: Interior rough grass, nettles , thistles. No pond in centre as AM7, though this area is soft and peaty. Several dead trees on bank, some have already been felled. Some animal disturbance. Nettles in greater part of dry ditch. No sign of straw dumping but possibly some earth dumped near west entrance (S1).
1986: Traces of outer bank under grass of surrounding meadow, especially towards river. Ditch dry and nettle-filled. Inner bank 2-3m high with approximately 2m wide breach on south side not matched by causeway in ditch and neither mapped by OS nor mentioned by other sources; planted with beech and lime, dead trees either felled or fallen, the latter revealing flint soil and, in one case, a piece of burnt flint. Interior dry and mainly grass, with nettles, brambles and a few trees.
Flood plain location of such a massive earthwork enclosure is remarkable and recalls that of some henges (S1).
For description in 1998 - see (S1).
Profile of earthwork circa 1896 shows ditch at S, 8 feet 3 inches below ground level and the distance from bottom of ditch to top of internal bank as 17 feet 9 inches N-S. Diameter given as 351 feet (external) and 258 feet (internal) (S4).
`Investigated by Bloomfield' (?Rev Francis Blomefield, 1705-1752, Author of History of Norfolk).
"Gouge and pottery at Thetford Museum" (S2).
"One Roman C2 sherd found N of Burnthall in disused small gravel or sand pits", 11th September 1950 found by B Brown and D Waller (S2). (This probably does not relate to this site, only to general area.) 1991: Being eroded with time and by cattle walking over it. Site lies in middle of pasture (S5).
Recorded as `Burnthill Plantation', a wood of 1 acre 3 roods 20 perches, belonging to the Rev George Stammers Barrow in 1837-9. Ditch shown as water-filled (S6).
1995: Fenced off from cattle; several of trees on bank taken down by estate and also outer ditch cleared partially. Good condition. Two pieces of burnt fired clay and one piece of tile recovered from interior. Low bank noted running from the river edge, past Burnthall and ending at the Bardwell Road. Most northern part is fairly substantial (c.3m wide). Southern section has trees growing on top of it (S10).
1767 map shows the enclosures to have a small building in the interior near the entrance. Land unit recorded as Burnt Hall Close (S11). The Suffolk poet, Robert Bloomfield, included the site within his poem, 'The Broken Crutch', published in 1896. R R Clarke also mentions the enclosures in 'In Brecklands Wilds', recording that there were two cottages known as the Town Houses inside, which were thatched and destroyed prior to 1840 (S12).
Domesday Survey records the manor as belonging to Peter de Valognes who held lands in six eastern counties. Burnthall may have been the head of his estate in Suffolk.
See parish file for maps of area (under FKM 019).

Earthworks visible on Lidar. See associated files.

Sources/Archives (18)

  • <M1> (No record type): SAM file:.
  • <R1> Bibliographic reference: Victoria County History of Suffolk (Vol I 1911; Vol II 1907). VCH Norfolk, 1, 1901, 265.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: maps of area + FKM 019.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: DOE scheduling information.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, XCVI, 20; X, 31, map 15.
  • <M2> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Basil Brown Archive: volumes, map.
  • <S3> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TL97NW8 (ill).
  • <M3> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: (S4).
  • <S4> (No record type): Beloe E M, The Peddar's Way and its attendant roads, Camb Antiq Soc (Communications & Reports), 9, 1.
  • <M4> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. APs: NMR 13353/2,3; NAU 13353/3 (1991).
  • <S5> (No record type): Suff Pres Soc (Paul Edwards) survey, table of results, 1991.
  • <S6> Map: 1839. Fakenham Magna Tithe Map. Suffolk Record Office, Bury, T42/1,2, Fakenham Magna Tithe Apportionment.
  • <S7> Bibliographic reference: 1911. Victoria County History, Suffolk (VCH). 1911, 590.
  • <S8> (No record type): Clarke R R, The IA in Norfolk & Suffolk, Archaeol J, 96, 1939, 107.
  • <S9> (No record type): Moore I, `Roman Suffolk', PSIA 24, 1948, 180.
  • <S10> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Sussams K, Brecks Survey, September 1995.
  • <S11> Map: Parker J, Map of Fakenham Lordship, 1767, SRO(B), HA 513/28/5.
  • <S12> Bibliographic reference: Miscellaneous Bibliographic reference. Clarke R R, In Breckland Wilds, 1937 (rev), 164.

Finds (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 21 2020 1:38PM

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