Pages 78-83

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 1, Archaeological Sites in North-East Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1975.

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(OS 1:10000 a SP 97 SE, b SP 96 NE, c TL 07 SW, d TL 07 NW, e TL 06 NE)

The large parish (Fig. 91), which now includes the old parish of Stanwick, covers some 2580 hectares, rising E. from the R. Nene at 120 ft. above OD, to the old Huntingdonshire boundary at 250 ft. above OD. The higher E. part is mostly on Boulder Clay, but near the Nene several small tributary streams have cut deep valleys exposing large areas of limestone and clays.

A large number of Roman settlements is known in the parish, including an important group of buildings, possibly a villa (13). The existence and location of the former village of Mallows Cotton and the hamlet of West Cotton, (19) and (20), indicate a pattern of medieval settlement of unusual form.

Prehistoric and Roman

a(1) Round barrow (?) (SP 96147045), in the S.W. corner of the parish on River Gravel at 120 ft. above OD close to the R. Nene. It is marked on OS maps with a diameter of about 40 m., but was destroyed by gravel-digging in 1924. Some excavation took place before destruction but no records survive. (OS Record Cards)

Fig. 87 Raunds (5) and (11) Crop-marks

a(2) Round barrow (?) (SP 96257083), 400 m. N.N.E. of (1) on Alluvium at 115 ft. above OD. Diam. 20 m. height 1 m., ploughed over. No trace of a ditch. It is doubtful whether this is in fact a barrow.

a(3) Hoard of stone axes (SP 98047125) found in Stanwick village during building operations. Six flint axes were discovered together in 1938 in one place. (J. Northants. Nat. Hist. Soc. F.C., XXIX (1938–40), 60; OS Record Cards; Northants. Evening Telegraph, 22 June 1938; NM)

a(4) Iron Age settlement (SP 97957238), on the S. side of a small valley close to the flood-plain of the R. Nene on clay at 120 ft. above OD. A group of features, either pits or ditches, was revealed in a pipe trench in 1967. From one of these, animal bones, charcoal, antler and Iron Age pottery were recorded. (BNFAS, 2 (1967), 6)

c(5) Settlement and ditches (TL 022720–027727; Fig. 87), in the E. of the parish on Boulder Clay, between 260 ft. and 230 ft. above OD. Air photographs show a complex pattern of ditches and ditched enclosures at the S.W. end of the site with a triple linear-ditch system extending N.E. towards a spring (air photographs in NMR). The Roman settlement (11) lies a little to the S.W.

c(6) Iron Age settlement (?) (TL 007713), in the S.E. of the parish on Boulder Clay at 250 ft. above OD. A few early Iron Age sherds have been found associated with a scatter of stone and pebbles. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 4)

a(7) Iron Age settlement (?) (SP 976719), N. of Stanwick village on limestone at 150 ft. above OD. A pipeline trench cut through a pit containing Iron Age pottery. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Stanwick 3)

a(8) Roman building (SP 994711), E. of Stanwick village on limestone at 215 ft. above OD. A rectangular building of limestone, associated with 4th-century Nene Valley-type pottery has been noted. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Stanwick 4)

c(9) Roman settlement (TL 018743), in the N.E. of the parish on Boulder Clay at 230 ft. above OD. Roman pottery within a small area of stone has been noted. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 5)

d(10) Roman settlement (?) (TL 007743), in the N. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 250 ft. above OD. Although only a few Roman sherds have been found, the adjacent fields, now permanent grassland, may contain the main part of this presumed settlement. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 6)

c(11) Roman settlement (TL 021717; Fig. 87), S.E. of Red Lodge, in the S.E. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 255 ft. above OD. A large area, at least 1.5 hectares in extent, is covered with Roman pottery, stones and pebbles. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 8)

c(12) Roman settlement (?) (TL 001723), on the S.E. side of Raunds village, on limestone at 200 ft. above OD. Medieval pottery found in the parish in 1878 was not only incorrectly identified as samian but also wrongly attributed to this site (OS 1:10000 TL 07 SW). Recently however, quantities of Roman pottery have been found during building development. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 3)

a(13) Roman villa (SP 971717; Fig. 88), N.W. of Stanwick close to the R. Nene on River Gravel at 140 ft. above OD. Air photographs show a group of buildings, their walls visible as parch-marks, associated with a series of linear ditches and enclosures. A ditched trackway running N. from the site is also visible, but this may be a later feature. Large quantities of Roman pottery, tile and stone have been noted, as well as some Iron Age pottery. The field to the S.E. is permanent pasture and no features can be seen there. The site is perhaps the one referred to by Bridges who records that fragments of a tessellated pavement were found in this area before 1720. (J. Bridges, Hist. of Northants., II (1791), 194; VCH Northants., I (1902), 194; JRS, 51 (1961), 134; CUAP, AGA 8, ZE 79–80; RAF VAP CPE/UK 1925, 3255–6)

Fig. 88 Raunds (13) Roman villa

a(14) Roman buildings (SP 97037112), S. of (13) in a similar position. The site is marked on OS maps, but no records of any finds existed until recently and it has been regarded as a mislocation of (13). However Roman pottery and building stone have since been found, and ditches have been discovered during pipe-trenching. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Stanwick 1)

a(15) Iron Age and Roman settlement (?) (SP 98207176) found during building construction in 1937–9. No details (NM Records).

a(16) Roman settlement (SP 976721), N. of Stanwick village on limestone at 150 ft. above OD. Roman pottery and limestone rubble were exposed during the cutting of a pipeline trench at this point. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 7)

a(17) Roman settlement (?) (sp 993724), W. of Raunds village, on limestone at 180 ft. above OD. During modern house-building Roman pottery was noted in spoil heaps from foundation trenches. A settlement is implied. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Raunds 9)

a(18) Roman settlement (SP 99157303), W. of Raunds village and immediately E. of London Road, on limestone at 210 ft. above OD. During building operations in 1965, Roman pottery and pits were discovered. (BNFAS, 2 (1967), 18)

For Roman material found at SP 97857308, see Ringstead (5).

For reputed Roman Road 570, see p. 116.

Fig. 89 Raunds (19) Deserted village of Mallows Cotton
Fig. 90 Raunds (20) Deserted settlement of West Cotton

Medieval and Later

a(19) Deserted village of Mallows Cotton (SP 976733; Fig. 89; Plate 14), in the N.W. of the parish on the edge of the flood-plain of the R. Nene on limestone and sand at 125 ft. above OD, extending into Ringstead parish. The earthworks are in good condition.

Mallows Cotton is one of three small settlements, each known as Cotton, which lay along the edge of the R. Nene in Raunds and Ringstead parishes (see (20) below and Ringstead (8)). There are no documents giving population statistics or dates of abandonment since these settlements are always included in the records of adjacent villages. Their manorial history is also complex and not fully understood (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 33–4; PN Northants., 194–5). Mallows Cotton is probably to be associated with the manor of Middle Cotes which first appears by this name in 1274, but is traceable to the previous century. Its site was certainly abandoned by 1798 when the Enclosure Map of Raunds (NRO) shows a group of old enclosures here called 'The Cottons'.

The remains lie on the S.W. side of a broad hollow-way, up to 2 m. deep. At least seven long crofts or closes, bounded by low banks and scarps or shallow ditches, extend from the hollow-way S.W. towards the marshy flood-plain. At the N. end of the site a small hollow-way runs in the same direction, on the line of the Ringstead-Raunds parish boundary. At the upper end of each close is a large number of well-marked building platforms, some bounded by the remains of stone walls up to 1 m. in height. These are usually set within sub-rectangular paddocks or tofts. Towards the N. end of the site is a larger and more complex area of remains including large depressions, building sites, etc. on either side of the subsidiary hollow-way. This may be the site of the manor house and farm. In the extreme N. corner is a large circular mound 1.3 m. high which has an excavation trench cut across it. There is no evidence that the village extended N.E. of the main hollow-way and only Roman pottery from the adjacent settlement (Ringstead (5)) has been found there.

The site was excavated in 1909 by C. V. Charlton on the assumption that it was a Roman Camp. In 1924 the excavator in a letter to the OS Archaeological Division noted that 'only medieval dwellings were revealed. These include several round houses which might have been granaries—a stone-built house with moulded door jambs and a church (sic) evidently destroyed by fire; on its floor was a silver coin' (OS Record Cards).

Fig. 91 Raunds (22) Hargrave (4) Medieval cultivation remains

a(20) Deserted settlement of West Cotton (SP 976725; Fig. 90), 400 m. S. of (19) in a similar position, but around a small tributary stream. As with Mallows Cotton (19) and Mill Cotton (Ringstead (8)), nothing is known of the date of abandonment, but it seems likely that the remains belong to the manor of West Cotton, or Wilwencotes, which can be identified as existing in the early 12th century although not specifically named as such until 1314 (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 33–4).

From the remains it would seem that the settlement never consisted of more than two or three farmsteads or cottages. In 1798 the site is shown on the Enclosure Map of Raunds (NRO) as a series of old enclosures called 'Cotton Closes', lying within the existing common fields. The lane to the S. along the parish boundary between Stanwick and Raunds is named as West Cotton Road.

The remains lie on each side of an old lane running N.-S. which widens out at the S. end. The land to the E. of the lane is now under cultivation, and ploughing has produced an area of stone and building-rubble associated with medieval pottery. W. of the lane, are the earthwork remains of two small building complexes, with indeterminate banks, wall-footings and scarps. There is also a hollow-way or ditch which bounds the S. of the site. The northernmost set of buildings ('a' on Fig. 90) consists of a series of rectangular platforms, bounded by low scarps and banks, some of which are made of limestone rubble, now nowhere more than 0.5 m. high. The other building site ('b' on Fig. 90) is simpler with no visible evidence of stone walls. A pipe-line trench cutting across the area revealed limestone wall-footings which are now unlocated but which were associated with pottery of the 12th to the early 13th centuries (BNFAS, 2 (1967), 28; K.J. Allison, et al., The Deserted Villages of Northants., (1966), 38; RAF VAP CPE/UK 1925, 3255–7).

d(21) Remains of farm (SP 973713), immediately W. of Stanwick village. A series of low earthworks, including building-platforms, banks, and enclosures comprises the remains of a farmstead, with associated paddocks, still standing in 1838 (NRO, Enclosure Map of Stanwick).

(22) Cultivation remains (Fig. 91). The common fields of the old parish of Raunds were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of 1797 (NRO, Enclosure Map, 1798). Ridge-and-furrow of these fields remains, or can be traced on air photographs, over large areas; well-marked long low ridges, formerly headlands, are also visible. The ridge-and-furrow, arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs, together with the former headlands, can be correlated exactly with the pattern of strips in the common fields which are faintly marked on the Enclosure Map. There are also extensive areas of ridge-and-furrow around the village, in fields which were old enclosures in 1798, but some at least of these have clearly been taken from the former common fields at an earlier date. For example, in 1685 one Thomas Ikins was brought before the Manor Court for enclosing a close in 'Le Fallow Field' (PRO, DL 30/105/1513).

The common fields of the old parish of Stanwick, now part of Raunds, were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1834 (NRO, Enclosure Map, 1838). Immediately before that date there were three common fields around the village. A few small areas of ridge-and-furrow of these fields still remain or can be traced on air photographs, but the most marked features are a large number of long low ridges, formerly headlands, which exist over all the W. part of the old parish. These vary from 300 m. to 800 m. in length and 20 m. to 30 m. in width. They are well preserved N.E. of the village (SP 985717 and 988714) in the former Raunds Field, and S.E. of the village (SP 988710 and 982707) in the former Chelveston Field.

In the S.E. of the old parish, E. of the Raunds-Chelveston road, there is extensive ridge-and-furrow of reversed-S form, some within existing fields and some underlying the modern hedges. This area known as The Pastures, was enclosed by agreement, probably from the former fields in 1663 (NRO, map of Stanwick Pastures). (RAF VAP CPE/UK 1925, 2253–65, 1256–67, 3256–60; 1994, 2398–2404; 540/474, 3025–6)