Norwich, Thetford and A11 corridor National Mapping Programme Project
Some of Norfolk’s most important archaeological sites such as the Roman town at Caistor St Edmund are situated close to Norwich. With the possibility of new building work around the city it was important to find out what other archaeological sites were present to help in the planning decisions made. New development is also planned for the nearby town of Thetford and aerial surveys were undertaken around the town, the city and along the A11 that links the two.
A Roman town
The survey has revealed the full extent of a triple-ditched enclosure that surrounded the Caistor Roman walled town. The enclosure was previously interpreted as a Roman fort, established before the town, immediately after the Boudicca revolt. However the enclosures kite-shaped plan (the blue line on the illustration) suggests it relates to early town defences prior to the construction go the walls around the the 3rd century AD. The NMP mapping has also revealed further detail of the network of roads and structures (red on the illustration) associated with the town.
The medieval landscape
Aerial photographs of the area to the east of Norwich show several archaeological sites which are located within the proposed line of the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) including a large, partially double-ditched, D-shaped enclosure at Great Plumstead. This medieval or post medieval enclosure sits with the remains of fields of the same date. It lies within a relatively dense area of archaeological sites visible on the sands and gravels to the north of the River Yare, which includes a possible ring ditch or oval barrow dating to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, and at least one possible late Iron Age to early Roman D-shaped enclosure.
Defending the city
From the more recent past, the project has recorded a Second World War heavy anti-aircraft battery on the site of Mousehold Aerodrome, to the northeast of Norwich. This is just one of several such defences that protected the city from aerial attack during the Second World War.
The rest of the key findings from the project can be found in a series of reports
For further details about any Norfolk NMP project, please contact:
Norfolk Historic Environment Service, Union House, Gressenhall, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 4DR; tel 01362 869283; email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Historic Places Investigation
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