Archaeological report reveals Iron Age pits found in village

One of the trenches where archaeological work took place in Newton St Faith

One of the trenches where archaeological work took place in Newton St Faith - Credit: PreConstruct Archaeology Limited

Details of a series of pits dating as far back as the Iron Age have been revealed on land near Norwich where new homes have been built.

An archaeological evaluation has been taking place off Manor Road in Newton St Faith with Iron Age potsherd - broken ceramic material - among the items recovered.

And experts believe the area, where an application for 69 homes was approved in 2019, was once Iron Age heathland.

A total of 10 trenches measuring 1.8m by 50m were excavated across the site with objects dating back to the Roman and medieval periods also found with metal detectors. 

The work, which took place in 2019, was commissioned by Paul Gajos of Lanpro Planning and Development on behalf of developers Lovell.

The archaeological report was recently submitted to Broadland District Council after the 69 homes were built. 

There had been controversy over a bungalow being demolished to make way for the new homes.

The entrance to the Lovell housing estate in Manor Road

The entrance to the Lovell housing estate in Manor Road - Credit: Google Maps

Following the discovery of the pits, an archaeological report was written by Antonio Pavez with Peter Crawly, of Pre-Construct Archaeology, and sent to the district council.

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It states: "There is some evidence from the soils present, that this was an area of former heathland, and charcoal-rich pits of Iron Age date have previously been found in such heathland environments in the vicinity of Norwich." 

There are also several records relating to earlier prehistoric activity in the wider area surrounding the Manor Road site, with broken ceramic material indicating Roman activity.

Also among the objects found nearby were a collection of Neolithic and Mesolithic flint tools, a Bronze Age axe head fragment and part of a Bronze Age rapier blade. 

One of the pits uncovered during the archaeological work 

One of the pits uncovered during the archaeological work - Credit: Pre-Construct Archaeology

The archaeological report concludes: "Several sherds of Roman pottery indicate there is some form of Roman era settlement within the wider vicinity of the site, although the nature of the pottery suggests this is likely to be a Roman farm or other low-class establishment. 

"The charcoal rich-pits are a common type of feature found on former heathland, and can date to a variety of periods.

"The present site at Newton St Faith, has presented a well-dated Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon pit." 

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