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Norfolk ALSF National Mapping Programme project

This archaeological survey carried out across parts of Norfolk recorded over 500 sites ranging in date from the prehistoric to the post-medieval period. The aim of this project was to investigate and assess the archaeological potential of different areas that may be suitable for quarrying.

Colour image showing archaeological features in green against a grey and white map background with a scale bar
NMP mapping showing the remains of an extensive Iron Age and Roman settlement at Watlington recorded from cropmarks © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

A sampling strategy

Four representative areas were chosen for investigation, defined by aggregate type: Norwich Crag, Plateau Gravels, River Gravels, and Lower Greensand and Fen Edge Gravels.

Sample areas were selected from each for detailed investigation and assessment. The aerial survey was the main part of this project undertaken by Norfolk Landscape Archaeology (now Norfolk Historic Environment Service), funded by English Heritage (now Historic England) through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF).

Colour aerial photograph showing extensive quarrying with bare earth and several water-filled pits
Part of the works relating to the extensive quarry at Leziate. The quarry is for Silica Sand, a resource which is primarily used in glass-making. This forms part of a complex band of deposits, often referred to collectively as ‘Lower Greensand’, which run north-south across west Norfolk.(NLA 5783/02). © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service. Photograph by D A Edwards

Understanding the wider landscape

Some of the sites mapped by from aerial photographs have already been destroyed by quarrying but some have already been the subject of extensive archaeological excavation prior to extraction.

Black and white aerial photograph showing an arable field with two crops and a sub circular feature running across them both
The cropmarks of an oval enclosure at Gressenhall is possibly the site of a late Saxon manor. © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service. Photograph by D A Edwards

For these, the NMP mapping has provided a vital insight into the contemporary landscape surrounding the sites.

Colour image showing archaeological features in green against a grey and white map background with a scale bar
NMP mapping depicting the cropmark of an oval enclosure at Gressenhall that is possibly the site of a late Saxon manor. The faint outline of a possible hall building (or, more probably, several successive buildings) is visible within it. © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service
The Archaeology of Norfolk’s Aggregate Landscape

The Archaeology of Norfolk’s Aggregate Landscape

Published 1 April 2008

A summary report on the aerial survey undertaken for the Norfolk ALSF NMP project (5241)

For further details about the Norfolk NMP project, please contact:
Norfolk Historic Environment Service, Union House, Gressenhall, Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 4DR  tel 01362 869283; email sophie.tremlett@norfolk.gov.uk

Further details of these and other archaeological sites in Norfolk can be found on the Norfolk Heritage Explorer website.

For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Remote Sensing Team please contact us via email using the link below.

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