Monument record STN 030 - Probable post medieval flint mines

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Summary

Earthworks, areas of exposed chalk, uneven ground, and scatters of worked flint, identified during site visits, on aerial photographs and on lidar imagery, indicate that this is probably the site of post medieval flint mines. By 2015, most extant earthworks of the mines appear to have been levelled, although the ground remains uneven and a single possible mineshaft and spoilheap were identified from lidar imagery.

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 8056 8604 (478m by 396m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL88NW
Civil Parish SANTON DOWNHAM, FOREST HEATH, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (4)

Full Description

May 1991: Large area of chalk and worked flint exposed on cleared surface beside Forestry Commission ride/track during upgrading to roadway to new Forest Centre complex (FC workers say this area was formerly some (or a single?) substantial pit in which a tractor had gone down with the driver having to stand on the cab to be seen, which was bulldozed level. Circa 250m wide N-S, limits E-W not established but may extend to PMed gunflint industry site, STN 021, circa 250m to E? and probably to further flint mines STN 038 to to W. Circa 500m from Lingheath pits.
Circa 100m S of site chalk was exposed in modern hole circa 60cm below surface. Extent of chalk on site surface, scatter of worked flint and lack of evidence of large chalk pits, suggests probably levelled flint mines.
Sample of worked flint, probably from preliminary process of platform type gunflint manufacture or possibly from wedge-form gunflint production. Also many largish cores with only a few flakes removed (S1).
January 1994: Area extended to include area to W as defined by bank(?) cropmark on APs. Areas to N, S & E less clearly defined due to crop/tree growth etc (S2). Mines probably extend to W to STN 038 and Taflins Quarry complex (STN 018).
For rapid survey results see (S3).
April 2003: further RIS survey to east located banked boundary enclosing area of surviving earthwork mines (in different forms). To the west they had been levelled (arable field in 1880s - OS map) and a southern boundary bank had been built from chalk and flint rubble (from the levelled mine upcast?). Details in parish and Forestry files.
April 2003: For pre-destump survey see (S4) - eastern limits defined accordingly.
March 2005: Eastern extent of mines and bank defining eastern limit mainly levelled by FC destumping, raking and replanting contrary to advice! (S5).

January 2018. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
The area of post medieval flint mines described above is evident as an area of exposed chalk visible over the western part of the site on aerial photographs (as described above, S6), and uneven ground visible on 2015 lidar imagery (S7). The area has been mapped by extent. The bank on the western limit of the site, which was a plantation boundary in the late 19th century, is recorded as SHER STN 180. To the east and northeast a number of earthwork boundaries have been recorded (as SHER STN 181), some of which may also define the limit of the mining activity (although additional areas of possible mines are recorded to the east and northeast: SHER STN 182, STN 039, STN 021). Across most of the site, no clearly defined earthworks of individual mine shafts can be identified on the lidar imagery; it is likely that those that did exist have been levelled. A single possible mine shaft, surrounded by a horseshoe shaped spoil heap, can be seen as an earthwork on the lidar at TL 8079 8596.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 25th January 2018.

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> (No record type): SAU, Pendleton C, site report, STN 030, May 1991, map.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. (S1).
  • <S2> (No record type): SAU, APs, 1:10,000 verticals, 43 86 115-7 & 152-3, August 1986.
  • <M2> (No record type): APs: (Ipswich as (S2).
  • <S3> (No record type): SAU, Pendleton C, Flint Mines: Rapid Survey, ms, October 1996, map.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Letter. SCCAS, Pendleton C, (& GPS survey map) to N Gibbons (FE), 29/4/03, ill.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Site Report. SCCAS, Pendleton C, field report, March 2005.
  • <S6> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service Airmap86 43 4386152-4386153 01-AUG-1986 (Print).
  • <S7> LIDAR Airborne Survey: LIDAR airborne survey. LIDAR Wangford Forest Research 0.5m DTM 15-JUL-2015 (BNG Project, FC England, Fugro Geospatial).

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 23 2018 3:46PM

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