Manors are an important component of the cultural-economic history of Northern Germany and Southern Scandinavia. We present the results of a geophysical prospection that led to the identification of a previously unknown manor near the village of Noer, Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany. Although magnetic gradiometry provides a fast way to cover large areas, it does not provide accurate depth estimates, is affected by magnetic blanking and is unable to detect differences in water content. Therefore, we applied a combination of different geophysical methods to optimize the non-invasive reconstruction of the target and its surroundings not only with respect to building structures but also in relation to the surrounding landscape. In particular, a combination of magnetics, ground-penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic induction (EMI), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and soil samples were carried out to determine: (1) the object's exact location; (2) the building structure and state of preservation; and (3) any additional structures in the surrounding area.
We detected a tripartite building of 22 by 27 m, with several inner walls, which was located underneath a topographic high on the surveyed field. The bulk structure is identifiable most clearly in the magnetic and EMI inphase component maps. GPR profiles and soil samples indicate flooring or foundations in part of the building. Their shallow depths of less than 2 m below the surface and debris clusters close to the surface indicate at least partial demolition. A surrounding wall was found about 5 m outside the building. The area in between shows no magnetic anomalies, lower resistivities in EMI and ERT, and low GPR reflection amplitudes. Soil samples suggest a moat or other water feature.
Archaeological artifacts found at the location characterize the building as a 16th to 17th century brick manor. Other objects, like a suspected farmyard and access path could not be found. A comparison with historical sources suggest that the mansion is in relation to the manor Grönwohld. After a change of the owner it was degraded to a Meierhof, and subsequently the building decayed and was forgotten.