Monument record ORF 055 - A flood defence bank of Medieval to Post Medieval date, Orford parish

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A flood defence bank of Medieval to Post Medieval date, Orford parish


Grid reference Centred TM 43959 50398 (1817m by 1675m)
Map sheet TM45SW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

A sea bank of possibly medieval or post medieval date is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs from 1943 onwards, centred on circa TM43905034 (S1). The bank is one section in a much longer sea defence on the western bank of the River Ore/Alde, that runs from Orford to Westrow Reach in Sudbourne parish. However, this stretch originally ran for about 3km northwards from Orford quay to Town Marshes near Halfway reach. The original extent of this sea bank can be seen on Norden's map of circa 1601, and probably relates to organised land reclamation around the town of Orford in the later medieval period (S2). The northernmost section of the sea bank curves west inland for circa 750m, closely following the Orford/Sudbourne parish boundary as marked on an a map of circa 1800 and the first edition Ordnance Survey map of circa 1884 (S3, S4), suggesting that the bank was constructed by Orford parish. The irregular enclosure immediately to the north may have been an opportunistic piece of land reclamation constructed to take advantage of this stretch of sea bank (see SUE 022). Part of the bank that formed the southern edge of the enclosure has been damaged by 1955, probably by ploughing of the land for drainage (S5). By 1972 much of the north-western extent of the sea bank has been destroyed through a process of drainage channel widening, and can now partially be seen as a soilmark (S6). The banks visible immediately to the west and north probably also date from this period and probably are the remains of a system of track or causeways and additional flood defences also marked on Norden's map of circa 1601 (See SUE 081 and SUE 082). Additional enhancement of the sea bank to the east of the enclosure probably post-dates circa 1800 (see SUE 086).

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <S1> Photograph: USAAF. USAAF Air Photograph. US 7PH/GP/LOC132 5043-4 30-DEC-1943.
  • <S2> Map: John Norden. 1601. Orford Ness, A selection of Maps Mainly by John Norden - presented to J A Steers.. 1 inch to 1 mile. Circa 1601.
  • <S3> Map: Historic Map of Sudbourne: Harwich to Lowestoft, c. 1800. Circa 1800.
  • <S4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition. Circa 1884.
  • <S5> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/1674 0126-7 04-MAR-1955.
  • <S6> Photograph: OS, AP. NMR OS/72057 16-17 24-MAR-1972.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 15 2013 4:18PM

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