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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The parish is small, covering only 587 hectares, and lies immediately E. of Brackley. It consists of a generally flat area of Great Oolite Limestone between 120 m. and 145 m. above OD, cut into by a series of E. and S.E.-flowing streams, one of which forms the N. boundary. Along the valley sides Northampton Sand and clays are exposed.
b(1) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 569370), E. of the village on limestone at 125 m. above OD. Roman pottery was found here before 1978. A bronze axe is said to have come from the same area. (Northants. SMR)
Medieval and Later
The moated site consisted of a small rectangular island, 30 m. by 40 m., apparently raised slightly above the adjacent ground and surrounded by a deep ditch 12 m. wide. The ditch on the N.E. side and part of the island had already been damaged before destruction, by the realignment and deepening of the original stream. On the S.W. side was a larger rectangular island 60 m. by 45 m., surrounded by a ditch 10 m. wide with a causewayed entrance in the centre of the short N.W. side. There was a large external bank to the S.E. of both islands. In the surrounding area was a number of shallow ditches and low banks, some defining former paddocks or closes, others apparently for water. To the N.W. of the site (SP 561371) was a small rectangular embanked pond, probably contemporary with the moated site and perhaps for fish.
During the destruction of the site in 1970 short lengths of foundations and what appeared to be a central courtyard were discovered as well as traces of a large timber building lying over an earlier structure. Pottery of the 14th century was found (Med. Arch., 15 (1971), 163–4; DOE, Arch. Excavations 1970 (1971), 34). Much more pottery of the same date had been found previously (local inf.). Nothing is known of the history of the site. (VCH Northants., II (1906), 416; J. Bridges, Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 175; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 4215–6; CUAP, AAV19 and 20, AWN77; air photographs in NMR)
b(4) Settlement Remains (centred SP 559369; Plate 3), formerly part of Hinton, lie in and around the village, on clay, between 122 m. and 140 m. above OD. Very little survives on the ground today and it appears that the earthworks were never very extensive or impressive. On the S.E. side of the village there was formerly an area of disturbed ground (SP 560368) but this is now built over. S.W. of the village (SP 558367), on either side of a small stream, are other very indeterminate earthworks of no coherent form.
It is not clear what the remains represent as the surviving records show no indication of shrinkage; indeed the village seems to have had a stable population since the 11th century. In 1086 Domesday Book gives a recorded population of 18 (VCH Northants., I (1902), 346). In 1301, 23 taxpayers are listed in the Subsidy Roll (PRO, E179/155/31) and in 1334 the village paid 36s. 7d. in tax (PRO, E179/155/3). In 1377, 44 people over the age of 14 paid the Poll Tax (PRO, E179/155/28). The 1523 Subsidy was paid by 23 people in Hinton and Steane (PRO, E179/155/159), but by then Steane (Farthinghoe (18)) was already deserted. In 1673 23 people paid the Hearth Tax (PRO, E179/254/14). Bridges (Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 175) recorded about 30 houses there in 1720. Medieval pottery from the 14th to the 17th century as well as a spur of 14th or 15th-century date is recorded from the village (Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 106). (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 4215–6; CUAP, AAV19 and 20, AWN77)
b(5) Enclosure (SP 553365), lies S.W. of the village, on sand at 137 m. above OD. Air photographs (CUAP, BV61, 62) show a small rectangular enclosure which appears to be aligned on a former headland of the common fields. A quantity of medieval pottery, probably 13th or 14th-century in date, as well as some post-medieval pottery, has been found on the site (BNFAS, 3 (1969), 23).
b(6) Ponds (SP 557367), lie S.W. of the village, on clay at 130 m. above OD. In 1857 (map in NRO) there were three small rectangular ponds and one circular one and the area was known as Pond Close. A very irregular pond in a small copse is all that survives. No date or function can be assigned to the site.
(7) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1766. Very little ridge-and-furrow of these fields remains on the ground or can be traced on air photographs mainly because modern ploughing has removed all trace of it on the Great Oolite Limestone where it was probably always very slight. It can be seen in a few places around the village on clay, and also along the N. and N.E. boundary of the parish, running at right angles to the contours. Former headlands survive in a few places as broad low ridges up to 10 m. across (e.g. SP 555368). (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 2214–6, 4212–8; 106G/UK/1488, 4264–7)
b(8) Mound (SP 575366), lies in the S.E. of the parish, on Great Oolite Limestone at 120 m. above OD. A large rectangular mound, some 40 m. across and 1 m. high, is still visible although ploughed over. No date or purpose can be assigned to it.
a(9) Burials (SP 548376), in the N.W. of the parish, on limestone at 145 m. above OD. Several human skeletons are said to have been discovered 'from time to time' in the gardens of Hinton Grounds Farm before 1848. In that year two more skeletons were found (Whellan, Dir., 484).