Monument record STN 032 - Probable post medieval flint mines at Stonepits Plantation (Marlpit Brin)

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Probable post medieval flint mines survive as earthworks in and around an area marked as Stonepits Plantation on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map. They have been identified on the ground, and are also visible on imagery from a lidar survey flown in 2015. The pits are mainly small, surrounded by spoil consisting mostly of chalk.


Grid reference Centred TL 811 865 (438m by 373m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL88NW


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Large area, full extent not yet determined, of mainly small pits and spoil (mainly chalk).
November 1993: Rapid rough paced (through woodland!) survey suggests whole present woodland compartment full of pits which also extend into compartments to W (not surveyed as inpenetrable woodland). W-E transect across main block 100 paces S of TL 8107 8673 located pitted area, an earthwork N-S trackway, 62 paces to E, 2nd N-S(?) trackway 227 paces to E (from start, i.e. present ride), from there to 262 paces where a slight bank delineated the E extent of the pits, the pits became slighter (more weathered?). Another bank, circa 50cm high, occurred at 313 paces (S1). Very well preserved except for tree growth. Bounded in part (on N edge at least) by earthwork bank and ditch which probably delineates `Stonepits Plantation' as shown on 1928 OS map (earlier OS maps not seen). Recorded as `Ancient stone pits' and (loosely) related to Grimes Graves by Ambrose Williams (former rector of Santon Downham) in 1922 when said to be `practically unknown to the outer world' (S2).
Part(?) of `Marlpit B(rin), planted 1781' on map of 1791 (S3). Possibly late C18 flint pits for gunflint industry (see STN 030) or building flint. Condition suggests PMed date. Surface finds include some knapped flint & more plentiful deliberately `quartered' flint waste.
Possibly same as mines said to have been worked `till the late 19th century at Santon Downham (near the main Thetford-Brandon road)'(S4).
October 1996: Mature mixed woodland being (hand) cleared by FC.

July 2017. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
The probable post medieval flint mines described above are visible as earthworks on imagery from a recent lidar survey (S5). They have been mapped by extent. Their location and extent on the lidar does not correlate exactly with that recorded previously; it is possible that some areas recorded by previous surveys have since been levelled. The various banks mentioned above are either not particularly evident on the lidar, or correspond with features depicted on historical Ordnance Survey maps, and have therefore not been mapped. There is a possible relationship between the flint mines and the boundary or trackway which leads up to them from the west, which is recorded as part of SHER 129.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 5th July 2017.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> (No record type): SAU, Pendleton C, June 1993 & November 1993.
  • <S2> (No record type): Williams A J, `The Works of a prehistoric time-piece', JBAA, 1922.
  • <S3> (No record type): Map of the Estate of the Right Hon Charles Sloane Lord Cadogan, 1791, SRO.
  • <S4> (No record type): Clarke R, `The Flint-Knapping Industry at Brandon', Antiquity, 9, 1935, 44.
  • <S5> LIDAR Airborne Survey: LIDAR airborne survey. LIDAR Santon Forest Research 0.5m DTM 17-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

Mar 4 2019 12:56PM

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