Monument record FKM 001 - Hercules Went (Sax)

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This is a multi period settlement site reported by Kenneth Landymore to Basil Brown in August 1946, when pottery was found by workmen digging for gravel in Allen Newport Ltd's pit on the field known as Hercules Went.


Grid reference Centred TL 9060 7723 (198m by 290m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL97NW


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Mrs Caton, 1914, found Ipswich ware on the surface of the field described by her as a "kitchen midden" and these are in Thetford Museum, Norfolk (S3).
See also Euston, EUN 011, for Mrs Caton excavation.
This is a multi period settlement site reported by Kenneth Landymore to Basil Brown in August 1946, when pottery was found by workmen digging for gravel in Allen Newport Ltd's pit on the field known as Hercules Went. During excavation over 200 hut sites, many with hearths or fire holes, were discovered, and what were first thought to be ditches were later described as "sunken paths". The site extends along a gravel terrace overlooking a length of the River Black Bourne called Broad Water. The later excavations revealed a "wharf" which stood on ground bordered by channels from the river. Many artefacts from Paleolithic period to Anglo-Saxon period. The site was worked until 1951 when the gravel ran out and the pit was abandoned. Basil Brown was unable to excavate fully as the gravel was being dug out daily and he conducted a salvage operation very often only able to collect artefacts from the revealed surface just beneath the topsoil before the area was demolished so stratification was often impossible. No post holes were found but the area was covered in soft clay patches. The two huts that were fully excavated were rectangular in shape but the others were not able to be defined(S1).
Aerial photographs taken 30.5.80 showed pits, ditches, sunken featured buildings?, gravel test pits as cropmarks extending across Hercules Went and into surrounding fields NW of the site excavated by Basil Brown - see Fakenham Magna FKM 015 (S5).
Basil Brown did not find as much evidence of Anglo-Saxon occupation as he had expected and says that few of the hut sites were of Anglo-Saxon origin due to relatively few artefacts than of the Romano British period. However, the only burial, an inhumation of Pagan Saxon type, on the site was found beneath the beaten floor of a rectangular hut. The body appeared "to have been wrapped in cloth" and the skeleton of a male 5`9" - 6`tall lay on its back with an iron knife at waist height, a stone under the chin, and a Roman flue tile at the foot. Later a piece of frontis skull bone was found on the conveyor belt at Barnham where the gravel from Fakenham was graded and this was described as being part of the skull of an adolescent. The spindle whorl was made from the base of a terra cotta pot, Basil Brown says Roman. The pottery "rough and crude" was plain with some decorated sherds amongst them. Sherds of an urn decorated with crosses were found and one of the gravel pit workers said "he had more than half an urn with an even more elaborate decoration" (S2).

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <R1> (No record type): Myers and Green, A-S cemeteries of Caistor by Norwich & Markhall, 1973, Gazeteer 260..
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Basil Brown archive: map, volumes, card index.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, map SAU ref. no 11,vols I,VIII,X,XI,LIII,LXVII,LXX,LXXXIX,XCI, XCVII,XCVIII, photo vol XC, .
  • <S2> (No record type): rown B, map SAU ref. no 11,vol VIII, 76-85,92,99,103,107,112, vol X, 5,6,8-11,15,23,27,29,30,37,39,4.
  • <M2> Photograph: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Air Photograph. AP: SAU ALD 11-15.
  • <S3> (No record type): Thetford Museum per Rogerson A, NAU, August 1986..
  • <S4> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 25, 1951, 211-212..
  • <S5> Oblique Aerial Photograph: SAU. 1980. ALD 11-15,. SAU, AP ALD 11-15, 1980.

Finds (6)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 20 2020 1:41PM

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