Thetford Town Defences

Has been described as a Certain Urban Defence

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameThetford Town Defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishThetford

The approximate course of the Late Saxon town ditch has been traced running across this area. Above the Saxon ditch is a post medieval bank presumably serving a simiilar purpose - delineating the town. Excavations at various points along the ditch and bank in 1959 and 1964 recovered Early Saxon, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon, medieval and post medieval pottery sherds. The section of ditch/bank by Redcastle Furze School is the only part to have been scheduled. (Norfolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The Late Saxon ditch was perhaps a little more defensive than the Norfolk HER implies. Most of Saxon Thetford and all the defenses lay south of the River Little Ouse and were, therefore, in Suffolk.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL861828
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 138
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 61, 70, 264
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • Rogerson, A. and Dallas, C., 1984, Excavations in Thetford 1948-59 and 1973-80 (Dereham: East Anglian Archaeology 22) passim download
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 311
  • Stephen Dunmore with Robert Carr, 1976, The Late Saxon town of Thetford, Norfolk (East Anglian Archaeology 4) passim download
  • Turner, H.L., 1971, Town Defences in England and Wales (London) p. 138
  • Blomefield, Francis, 1805, 'Thetford, chapter 5: Of Thetford-Hill the situation of the city at that time, and of its first destruction by the Danes' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 2 p. 26-27 online transcription (of antiquarian interest only)


  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Davison, B.K., 1967, 'The Late Saxon Town of Thetford' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 11 p. 189-208 online copy
  • Wilson, D.M. and Hurst, J.G., 1960, 'Medieval Britain in 1959' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 4 p. 136 download copy