An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 2, Archaeological Sites in Central Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1979.
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9 CARLTON, EAST
The parish, covering 665 hectares, occupies a long, narrow strip of land immediately S. of the R. Welland which forms part of its N. boundary. The greater part of the S.E. end of the parish is a flat Boulder Clay tableland, about 135 m. above OD, but to the N.W. the ground falls gently to the river, here flowing at about 60 m. above OD. In this area large tracts of Oolitic Limestone and Lias Clays are exposed.
Prehistoric and Roman
b(1) Enclosure (SP 84008816), 300 m. N. of Ash Coppice, on Boulder Clay at 137 m. above OD. Air photographs (RAF VAP CPE/UK/2109, 4269–70) show a very indistinct circular enclosure, 60 m. in diam., with a small circular feature within it.
Medieval and Later
b(2) Settlement Remains (SP 829894 – 832893), lie along both sides of the existing village street. All the remains are very disturbed, but low banks and scarps and sunken platforms can be identified. Some of the remains still had houses on them in 1723 (Map in NRO), though all but one had disappeared by 1845 (NRO, Tithe Map). The best preserved are those immediately S. of the gates of East Carlton Park (SP 83208925), where there are at least four sunken rectangular depressions, probably former house-sites, associated with long rectangular closes, bounded by low banks, extending E. into the Park. No houses stood there in 1723, though a building existed further E. until after 1845.
b(3) Site of Watermill (SP 81958975), on the S. side of a small N.E.-flowing brook, 1 km. N.W. of the village, on gravel and clay at 63 m. above OD. There is a pond of irregular shape, 160 m. long and up to 40 m. wide, with a large earthen dam at the N.E. end. It has an inlet channel at the S.W. end, from the adjacent stream, and an outlet leading back into the stream below the dam. Some indeterminate earthworks in the latter area are perhaps the site of the mill. On a map of the parish of 1723 the pond is shown together with a small building at its N.E. end (NRO, Map of East Carlton) and both are again shown on the Tithe Map of 1845 (NRO). At that time the field in which the remains lie was called Mill Dam Meadow (RAF VAP CPE/UK/2109, 4135–6).
(4) Cultivation Remains. The date of the enclosure of the common fields of the parish is not known, but it had taken place before 1723 (Map in NRO). Ridgeand-furrow of these fields remains on the ground or can be traced on air photographs in the N. and extreme S. of the parish. In the N. it consists of rectangular furlongs, mainly of reversed-S type, radiating outwards from the summits of two pronounced knolls of clay in the area (SP 816905 and 823895). In the S. of the parish ridgeand-furrow is visible between and to the N. of blocks of woodland known as Carlton Purlieus (SP 838879 and 839872). This name, together with the names Great and Little Assart to the N.E. (at SP 842880), indicates former cultivation of land cleared from woodland (RAF VAP CPE/UK/2109, 4135–7, 4269–73; F21 82/RAF/ 865, 0235–7; F22 540/RAF/1312, 0098–0101).
b(5) Enclosure (SP 84208788), immediately N.E. of Ash Coppice, on Boulder Clay at 132 m. above OD. Air photographs (RAF VAP CPE/UK/2109, 4269–70) show a sub-rectangular enclosure bounded by a low bank and covering about 2 hectares. It is now ploughed out. The field in which it lies was known as the Great Assart in 1723, and was presumably formed at some time by clearing part of the adjacent woodland. The enclosure may be connected with this activity.