Monument record MUD 025 - Earthwork enclosures of unknown date

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Summary

An area of earthwork enclosures of unknown date are visible on aerial photographs. A later prehistoric, Roman or medieval to post medieval date has been suggested. The earthworks are within Mutford Big Wood, an area of ancient woodland (MUD 009). Earthworks have previously been recorded within this wood (See MUD 009), however no detail of them was available at the time of recording the earthwork recorded from the aerial photographs and it may be that the reference relates to the same features. Further research and ground survey is recommended. The shape of the wood has altered somewhat post medieval to modern period, however the earthworks are within the area depicted on Hodskinson’s map of 1783 and are still surrounded by woodland today. This could suggest that the earthworks are of some antiquity, however it is also probable that despite being classed as ‘ancient woodland’ that the density and extent of the woodland changed throughout its history and it is possible that the enclosures relate to stock management or other activities within the woodland during the medieval to post medieval period.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 4891 8944 (307m by 214m)
Map sheet TM48NE
Civil Parish MUTFORD, WAVENEY, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (10)

Full Description

July 2014. Lothingland, Lowestoft and North Suffolk Coast and Heaths National Mapping Programme.
An area of earthwork enclosures of unknown date are visible on aerial photographs (S1-S3). A later prehistoric, Roman or medieval to post medieval date has been suggested. The earthworks are within Mutford Big Wood, an area of ancient woodland (MUD 009). Earthworks have previously been recorded within this wood (See MUD 009), however no detail of them was available at the time of recording the earthwork recorded from the aerial photographs and it may be that the reference relates to the same features. Further research and ground survey is recommended. The shape of the wood has altered somewhat post medieval to modern period, however the earthworks are within the area depicted on Hodskinson’s map of 1783 (S4) and are still surrounded by woodland today. This could suggest that the earthworks are of some antiquity, however it is also probable that despite being classed as ‘ancient woodland’ that the density and extent of the woodland has changed throughout its history and it is possible that the enclosures relate to stock management or other activities within the woodland during the medieval to post medieval period. The dimensions and level of subdivision within the earthworks would potentially indicate that these are unlikely to relate to more recent compartments within the woodland, such as those associated with plantation or management of the area within the post medieval and modern periods. Additionally they are clearly cut by other more recent plantation features.
The earthworks consist of two conjoined rectangular and/or rectilinear ditched enclosures, with evidence of inner banks surviving in places. Both enclosures are approximately 75m across and the more complete example is 90m long. Both enclosures have evidence of internal subdivisions. Additional possible boundary ditches were perhaps visble to the northwest and northeast, but were not included within the mapping (noted on 'POSSIBLES' layer).
Given the orientation of these earthworks broadly follows that of the surrounding medieval to post medieval landscape a relatively late date could be assumed, although the morphology of the enclosures would equally suggest a later prehistoric or Roman date and it is feasible that the earthworks of this antiquity could have been preserved within an area of ancient woodland. Further work and ground survey is required to fully understand and interpret these features.
S. Horlock (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 2nd July 2014.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/540/465 RP 4181-4182 20-APR-1951 (EHA).
  • <S2> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/540/465 RP 3168-3169 20-APR-1951 (EHA).
  • <S3> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/540/465 RP 4168-4169 20-APR-1951 (EHA).

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 26 2014 5:17PM

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