BHO

Tiffield

Pages 148-149

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 4, Archaeological Sites in South-West Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1982.

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60 TIFFIELD

(OS 1:10000 a SP 65 SE, b SP 75 SW)

The parish, just over 500 hectares in area, occupies the S. side of a flat-topped ridge covered by Boulder Clay, at 125 m. above OD. Only in the narrow valley in the W. of the parish, occupied by the village, are narrow bands of Oolitic limestones, Northampton Sand and clay exposed, between 125 m. and 100 m. above OD.

Roman

a(1) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 69735293), in the N. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 140 m. above OD. A scatter of Roman pottery was found in 1957 (OS Record Cards).

a(2) Roman Settlement (SP 697524), N. of the village, on Boulder Clay at 125 m. above OD. Roman pottery, including mortarium sherds, has been found (NM; Northants. Archaeol., 11 (1976), 194).

Medieval and Later

a(3) Settlement Remains (centred SP 698515), formerly part of Tiffield, lie within the existing village, on limestone at about 150 m. above OD. The village appears always to have consisted of a single N.-S. street on the E. side of a small S.-flowing stream. Empty plots, containing earthworks, survived until recently but some of these have been destroyed by modern housing development. Immediately S. of the church (SP 699515) a small rectangular paddock still retains a large depression at its W. end, the site of a building which had already been removed by 1780 (NRO, Enclosure Map). At the S. end of the village (SP 699513) low banks, scarps and depressions on either side of the street are the sites of farm buildings still standing in 1780. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1035–6; air photographs in NMR)

a(4) Bank (SP 698515), lies immediately S.W. of the church on the E. side of the stream, on clay at 102 m. above OD. A long bank 1.5 m. high and 6 m. wide spans the flat valley bottom and returns S. along the edge of the stream. No date or function can be assigned to this feature. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1035–6)

(5) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of 1780 (NRO, Enclosure Map). At that time there were three open fields. Meadow Field to the S. of the village, Water Slade Field to the N. and N.W. and Full-Well Field to the E. and N.E. The Enclosure Map depicts the named furlongs of the common fields and it is of interest that each furlong is made up of a number of separate blocks of ridges, sometimes arranged at right angles to each other, an unusual system in Northamptonshire. This ridge-and-furrow survives on the ground or can be traced from air photographs in parts of all three fields and the pattern is almost complete W. of the village in the former Water Slade Field (SP 695515). There a group of rectangular furlongs, set at right angles to each other, lie around a long narrow close also containing ridge-and-furrow which was an old enclosure in 1780. To the E. of the village, in the former Full-Well Field (SP 705520), another large area of rectangular, interlocked furlongs survives. Immediately S.E. of the village, within the former Meadow Field (SP 702513), a broad hollow-way, presumably the precursor of the enclosure road to the N., passes between two blocks of reversed-S ridge-and-furrow. Ridge-and-furrow also survives around the village within paddocks which were old enclosures in 1780.

The unusual eastern projection of the parish which lay beyond Full-Well Field in 1780 was, at that date, already old enclosures. The field names there indicate that some of it had been cleared from woodland, but large parts of it have traces of ridge-and-furrow arranged in rectangular blocks. Some of the latter appear to lie within the field boundaries and may be of a relatively late date. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1030–7, 3031–7; FSL6565, 2107–9)

Undated

Bridges (Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 271), writing in about 1720, said 'the foundation of old buildings are said to have been formerly dug up' at two places called Oxhay and Pyesnest, but these places have not been identified today.