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Historic England Research Records

Arminghall Henge

Hob Uid: 132451
Location :
Norfolk
South Norfolk
Caistor St. Edmund and Bixley
Grid Ref : TG2398006010
Summary : A henge monument at Arminghall photographed from the air (as cropmarks) in 1929 and partly excavated in 1935. The site comprises two concentric sub-circular ditches, the innermost circa 27 metres across and the outer circa 82 metres across. The outer ditch is much narrower. Traces of a slight bank were noted both inside the outer ditch and outside the inner ditch. These are presumed by the excavator to represent the same bank. The inner ditch has an entrance on its south-western side. The outer ditch could not be traced on the south west, so it is unclear if it featured a corresponding entrance gap. Cropmark evidence in fact suggests that there may have been three or four interruptions in the oute circuit in the south to southwest sector. Within the inner enclosure was a horseshoe-shaped arrangement of 8 substantial post holes, each of which was accompanied by a ramp (all facing the same direction). The two post holes which were excavated suggested that they held oak posts each about 1 foot in diameter, and sunk about 8 feet into the ground. Several decades later, a radiocarbon date of 2490+/-150 bc (uncalibrated) was obtained from charcoal recovered from one of the post holes. Finds from primary contexts were rather limited, comprising mainly flint flakes, cores and burnt flints plus 16 sherds of rusticated Beaker pottery from a "charcoal seam" in the inner ditch. The presence of Beaker sherds is a little at odds with the radiocarbon date, even allowing for the age of the wood, which suggests that the timber circle/horseshoe may well pre-date the henge itself. Unstratified material and finds from secondary contexts included items of Mesolithic, Iron Age and Roman date.
More information : (TG 23980601) Henge (NR) (1)

The Arminghall Henge monument (Class 1) was discovered and photographed from the air by Wing Commander Insall VC on 18th June 1929. It was excavated during August and part of September 1935 by G. Clarke and others. For full report see Auth 2. The henge consists of a penannular ditch inside a bank, broken by a single causeway entrance to the central circular sanctuary. The inner ditch was 28ft across and had been at least 8ft. deep, while the area it enclosed was 90ft. in diameter. The surrounding bank was 50ft. across at the base, so that the diameter of the whole monument was about 270ft. In the central area were found holes arranged in a horseshoe shape of eight massive post holes each about 7 1/2ft. deep and 2 1/2 to 3ft. in diameter.

A C14 date for charcoal from one of the holes was about 2500 <+/-> 300 BC (4). The entrance was on the south-west.

Finds:-

Stray finds having no connection with the site included microlithic cores and flakes from the gravel surface under the bank, and a sertertius of Hadrian (AD 117-38) from under the causeway. From the secondary ditch silting came Romano-British and Early Iron potsherds and below an accumilation of sterile primary silting in the inner ditch a charcoal seam was found defining the floor of the undisturbed gravel. From this came 107 flint flakes, nine cores, 60 burnt flints and 16 sherds of pottery. (2-4)

Surface indications of this henge consist of a circular depression 50.0m. diameter with a maximum depth of 0.4m., the outer lip of a bank is traceable with difficulty and was unsurveyable. The whole area is under pasture.

Located and surveyed at 1:2500. (5-6)

Arminghall. Sub-circular enclosure, known from cropmarks and excavation situated c 6m above OD. Enclosure defined by an inner and outer ditch separated by the remains of a bank. The outer ditch was much narrower than the inner and a complete circuit has not been traced. The interior of the site was found to contain a horseshoe-shaped setting of eight ramped post-holes. Described as a classic henge. (7)

The site comprised two concentric sub-circular ditches, the innermost circa 27 metres across and the outer circa 82 metres across. The outer ditch is much narrower. Traces of a slight bank were noted both inside the outer ditch and outside the inner ditch. These are presumed by the excavator to represent the same bank. The inner ditch has an entrance on its south-western side. The outer ditch could not be traced on the south west, so it is unclear if it featured a corresponding entrance gap. Cropmark evidence in fact suggests that there may have been three or four interruptions in the oute circuit in the south to southwest sector. Within the inner enclosure was a horseshoe-shaped arrangement of 8 substantial post holes, each of which was accompanied by a ramp (all facing the same direction). The two post holes which were excavated suggested that they held oak posts each about 1 foot in diameter, and sunk about 8 feet into the ground. Several decades later, a radiocarbon date of 2490+/-150 bc (uncalibrated) was obtained from charcoal recovered from one of the post holes. Finds from primary contexts were rather limited, comprising mainly flint flakes, cores and burnt flints plus 16 sherds of rusticated Beaker pottery from a "charcoal seam" in the inner ditch. The presence of Beaker sherds is a little at odds with the radiocarbon date, even allowing for the age of the wood, which suggests that the timber circle/horseshoe may well pre-date the henge itself. Unstratified material and finds from secondary contexts included items of Mesolithic, Iron Age and Roman date. (2, 7-9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500 1979
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details : Clark, G. The Timber Monument at Arminghall and its Affinities.
Page(s) : Jan-51
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1936
Source Number : 3
Source : East Anglia
Source details :
Page(s) : 67
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.14
Source Number : 4
Source : East Anglian archaeology reports
Source details : (F Healy)
Page(s) : 26
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 14, 1982
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 EG 17-JUN-54
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Large Scale / Small Scale Map Revisers Comment
Source details : LS 25" (L F Coe Reviser 11 6 58)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Henge monuments and related sites of Great Britain : air photographic evidence and catalogue
Source details : Site 112
Page(s) : 192-195
Figs. : 194
Plates :
Vol(s) : 175
Source Number : 8
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details : Gibson, A. Excavations at the Sarn-y-bryn-Caled Cursus Complex, Welshpool, Powys, and the timber circles of Great Britain and Ireland.
Page(s) : 143-224
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 60, 1994
Source Number : 9
Source : Stonehenge and timber circles
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mesolithic
Display Date : Mesolithic
Monument End Date : -4000
Monument Start Date : -10000
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Timber Circle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Late Neolithic
Display Date : Late Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -2900
Monument Type : Henge, Timber Circle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Early Bronze Age
Display Date : Early Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -1600
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Henge
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Mesolithic
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : CORE, FLAKE, MICROLITH
Object Material : Flint
Period : Late Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Henge, Timber Circle
Object Type : VESSEL, LITHIC IMPLEMENT
Object Material : Pottery, Flint
Period : Early Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Henge
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery
Period : Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : VESSEL, COIN
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NF 213
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 6100
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TG 20 NW 153
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 132662
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 132659
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 132467
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ARMINGHALL HENGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1935-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TG 20 NW 146
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1954-06-17
End Date : 1954-06-17