4.4.36 Middle Harling, Norfolk

The parish of Harling is situated in the Breckland district of Norfolk on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. The modern village of East Harling is situated on the gently sloping southern side of the valley of the River Thet.

There are five separate Harling entries in Domesday. Two of these refer to East Harling. The others describe Middle Harling, West Harling and, probably, Harling Thorpe. These other villages disappeared during the post-medieval period although archaeological and documentary evidence has been used to identify their likely locations. The village name comes from Old English and can be translated as 'place of Herela's people'. The use of 'ingas' within the name may suggest these settlements have a Saxon origin.

The Devil's Ditch, an earthwork feature that runs through part of the parish, may be an Early Saxon or Iron Age boundary ditch, but there is spare evidence for Early Saxon activity. The discovery of a Middle Saxon hoard of coins of the King Beonna (around AD 749 to unknown) led to the excavation of the important Middle Saxon settlement of Middle Harling. Other Middle Saxon finds, including a mount depicting an animal, a copper alloy pin, and a pair of tweezers complete with suspension loop, have also been recorded. Other Middle Saxon coins have also been found away from the hoard site. One of these was a penny of Offa, also inscribed with the name of Archbishop Aethelheard.

An unusually high number of Late Saxon coins have been found in the parish. These include a Scandinavian copy of a coin of Cnut, a Viking copy made in East Anglia of a coin of Edward the Elder and a coin of Harald I. A Viking-style Late Saxon bridle cheek-piece and a 10th-century Borre-style brooch have also been recorded. Late Saxon pottery has been recovered. At one site the rims of several large cooking pots with external sooting were found. The VASLE dataset is derived from the Norfolk HER and the EMC.

Fingerprint charts for i) artefact date analysis, ii) artefact type analysis, iii) artefact metal analysis and iv) coins – date of production
Artefact date analysis Artefact type analysis Artefact metal analysis Coins - date of production


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Last updated: Tues Apr 21 2009