NORFOLK Museums Service
Holme Timber Circle, discovered on the beach at Holme next the Sea

Holme Timber Circle ('Seahenge')

The Holme Timber Circle (also known as 'Seahenge'), which was excavated in 1999, is currently undergoing conservation treatment at the Mary Rose Centre in Portsmouth. When this work is completed, the treated timbers will be displayed in the refurbished Lynn Museum in King’s Lynn from early 2008. Treatment of the timbers takes some time and it is anticipated that the large central tree stump will not be ready for display for some years. Consideration is therefore being given to producing a replica of the stump until conservation on the original timber has been completed.

The excavation report was published in 2004 in the national journal Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. A more popular, heavily-illustrated account will be published by English Heritage this year. Work on this book is well-advanced and publication is likely either in the late summer or early autumn in time for the Christmas booklists.

The scientific paper detailing the findings of the excavations on 'Seahenge' and the subsequent research programme has been published.
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society VOLUME 69, 2003

The Survey and Excavation of a Bronze Age Timber Circle at Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, 1998–9 by Mark Brennand & Maisie Taylor


In 1998 a circle of timber posts within the intertidal zone on the north Norfolk coast was brought to the attention of the Norfolk County Council Archaeological Service. A subsequent programme of archaeological recording and dating revealed that the structure was constructed in the spring or early summer of 2049 BC, during the Early Bronze Age. Because of the perceived threat of damage and erosion from the sea a rescue excavation was undertaken during the summer months of 1999. The structure was entirely excavated, involving the removal of the timbers and a programme of stratigraphic recording and environmental analysis. A survey was also undertaken within the environs of the site which has identified further timber structures dating from the Bronze Age. Detailed examination of the timber from the circle has produced a wealth of unexpected information which has added greatly to our understanding of Early Bronze Age woodworking, organisation of labour and the layout and construction of timber ritual monuments.