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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(OS 1:10000 a SP 86 SE, b SP 85 NE, c SP 96 SW, d SP 95 NW)
The parish, covering 1050 hectares, occupies a roughly trapezoidal area against the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire boundaries, between 52 m. and 110 m. above OD. The greater part of the parish is on Boulder Clay, except in the N.E. where the down-cutting of the Grendon Brook has exposed a large area of Great Oolite Limestone. The village is situated on the outcrop of the latter. Intensive fieldwork and air photography have led to the discovery of a notable number of Iron Age and Roman settlements, mainly on the Boulder Clay areas.
Prehistoric and Roman
c(1) Ring Ditch (?) (SP 91156034), lies in the N. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 91 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show a cropmark of a ring ditch, 20 m. in diam. There are slight indications of internal features (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 3, Bozeat (1)). Roman pottery and building stone have been found in the same field (see (8) below).
d (2) Iron Age Settlement (?) (SP 909575), S. of the village, on Boulder Clay at 100 m. above OD. A scatter of Iron Age B sherds has been found (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3).
d(3) Iron Age Settlement (?) (SP 906576), W. of (2) and in a similar position. Iron Age pottery and lumps of ironstone have been found (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3).
d(4) Iron Age Settlement (SP 900566; Fig. 46), immediately W. of Bozeat Grange, on Boulder Clay at 107 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR; CUAP, LS 79–81, VO 9–10) show a number of circular features associated with a large D-shaped enclosure and some linear ditches. Excavations were carried out on the site between 1963 and 1967. The ditch of the large enclosure was sectioned and a ditch 3 m. wide and 2.7 m. deep was revealed. A trench inside this enclosure showed part of a hut-circle floored with cobbles. One of the circular features ('a' on Fig. 46) was also partly examined; this had a surrounding ditch, 2.6 m. wide and 1.8 m. deep. Within it was a hut-circle 17 m. across. The pottery was of late Iron Age type. Earlier ditches were also discovered (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3; 7 (1972), 13, Bozeat (1)).
d(5) Iron Age Settlement (SP 911579), S.W. of the village on Boulder Clay at 99 m. above OD. There was an area of blackened pebbles associated with sherds of Iron Age B pottery (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3, Bozeat (8)).
b(6) Roman Building (SP 89595998), lies 1 km. N.W. of Bozeat, on clay at 62 m. above OD. A circular building some 15 m. in diam., possibly a shrine, was excavated in 1964. It had internal partitions and four central posts and was surrounded by an area of metalling. A cambered surface flanked by drains on the E. indicated an entrance. It was said to date from the second half of the 2nd century (JRS, 55 (1965), 210; 56 (1966), 207; Beds. Arch. J., 5 (1970), 57–65).
a(7) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 895602), lies 230 m. N. of (6) in a similar situation. A scatter of Roman pottery over about 10 sq. m. has been found. It may be an extension of (6) or associated with it (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3).
c(8) Roman Settlement (SP 910604), close to the N. edge of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 91 m. above OD. Roman pottery and building stone have been found (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3; OS Record Cards).
c(9) Enclosure and Roman Settlement (SP 92756010; Fig. 18), in the N.W. of the parish, immediately W. of the Roman Road 170, on Boulder Clay at 95 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show a cropmark of a small D-shaped enclosure. Just outside it to the S.E. Roman pottery, pebbles, lime-stone rubble and a quernstone have been found (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3; BNFAS, 6 (1971), 3, Bozeat (3)). Further W. (at SP 92596001) more Roman pottery and rubble have been recorded (OS Record Cards).
d(10) Roman Settlement (SP 906587), immediately S. of the old village centre, on Boulder Clay at 84 m. above OD. During modern housing develop ment a late 1st-century occupation site was discovered, with at least three kilns of the updraught type, producing large, coarse-ware vessels. In addition three rectangular and two circular stone buildings of the 3rd century were found. One of the former had painted wall plaster (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 13, Bozeat (1); BNFAS, 4 (1970), 6).
For Saxon burials, see (14).
c(11) Settlement (SP 906603; Fig. 18), in the N. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 91 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show a small irregular enclosure with an entrance on the S. from which project two curving 'antennae'. This is set within a larger rectangular enclosure (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 3, Bozeat (2)).
d(12) Ditches (SP 904572; Fig. 46), N. of Bozeat Grange on Boulder Clay at 99 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show three curving ditches.
d(13) Industrial Sites (?) (SP 904563, 900575, 900570, 901568; Fig. 46), all S. of the village, on Boulder Clay. They consist of areas of either charcoal or iron slag similar to those of known Iron Age or Roman sites (OS Record Cards; Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3). Recent work, however, suggests that these may be medieval (CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 6 (1976), 28).
For Roman Road 170, see p. 188.
Medieval and Later
d(14) Anglo-Saxon Burials (SP 906586), associated with the Roman Settlement (10). Three inhumations, one with a necklace and a brooch of the small-long type of 6th-century date, were discovered (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 13, Bozeat (16)).
d(15) Manor House Site (SP 90855895), lies in the S.E. of the village, on limestone at 91 m. above OD. The remains are probably those of the manor house of the main manor of Bozeat, usually known as Latimers (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 3–5). It had already been demolished by the early 18th century when the area was known as Bery Yard. More recently it has been called Bury Yard Field (J. Bridges, Hist. of Northants., II (1791), 158; J.H. Marlow, The History of Bozeat Village, (1936), 5). The S. part of the site has now been built over and only a few indeterminate earthworks survive. Close to the village street a well-marked rectangular platform, some 15 m. by 5 m., cut back into the slope, probably represents the position of former buildings, but it is unlikely to be the manor house itself. The site was devoid of buildings in 1799 (NRO, Enclosure Map; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1994, 3190–1).
d(16) Settlement Remains (centred SP 904590), lie in and around the village in various places. The most notable lie in the angle between Easton Road and London Road on land sloping E. to a small brook (SP 904590). Here there are at least three large rectangular closes extending W. from the London Road and bounded by banks and scarps up to 1.75 m. high. These closes are sub-divided by low scarps, and the centre one has a large ditched and banked enclosure within it at its W. end. The boundary banks and scarps appear to be constructed of limestone rubble. Extensive later quarrying has greatly damaged the remains. There are no traces of buildings in these closes, although recent widening of the London Road may have destroyed any which formerly existed.
Elsewhere in the village are other earthworks, probably also part of the village. Immediately W. of Church Farm on the E. side of the London Road (SP 90505912) are very disturbed remains, in a small paddock. E. of Manor Farm in the E. of the village (SP 90905908) is a rectangular enclosure; it is bounded on the E. by a large bank 1 m. high and 9 m. wide and on the N. and S. by much slighter banks only 3 m. wide and 0.25 m. high, and is surrounded on the E., N. and S. by ridge-and-furrow. It also has ridge-and-furrow within it. Immediately N. and W. of the church and vicarage (SP 9053 5920 and 90625927) are two pasture closes with very slight indeterminate earthworks. All these sites were already devoid of building in 1799 (NRO, Enclosure Map; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1994, 3190–1).
(17) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1798 (NRO, Enclosure Map, 1799). Immediately prior to that date there were three large open fields, covering all but the S.W. of the parish, called Dytches, Mill and Wood Fields. On two maps of 1605 (All Souls College, Oxford, photocopy in NRO) the same three fields are shown, but Mill Field appears to have been known as Sandewell Field. By the 17th century at least the S.E. part of the parish round Bozeat Grange (SP 903566) was emparked, though both it and the area to the E. known as the Wolds, were under cultivation at an earlier date. Assarting in woodland is known to have taken place in 1264, and some small areas of wood still survived in 1544 (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 5). However, the few remaining patches of woodland can all be shown to have been established on former arable land. Ridge-and-furrow remains or can be traced on air photographs over the entire parish except for the meadows liable to flood N.W. of the village and along the edges of small streams, indicating that the extent of arable land had once been much wider than it was by the early 17th century. The arrangement of ridges agrees exactly with the layout of strips shown on the 1605 map. It is arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs, many of reversed-S form, with a marked tendency for the ridges to run across the contours along the valley sides. A number of medieval roads running through the fields can also be seen, for example in the E. of the parish a long N.-S. sunken trackway passing between furlongs is still recognisable (SP 923596; CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 3 (1973), 32; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 4001–4;/1994, 1199–1203, 2195–8, 3190–4, 4199–4201; /2546, 4137–41).