Pages 9-11

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 5, Archaeology and Churches in Northampton. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1985.

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In this section


Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty

May it Please Your Majesty

We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England from the earliest times to the year 1714, and such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our discretion to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, do humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report, being the Forty-first Report on the work of the Royal Commission since its first appointment.

2. With regret we record the retirement from the Royal Commission upon expiry of term of office of Professor Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and of Professor George Zarnecki, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

3. We thank Your Majesty for the appointment to the Royal Commission of Professor Martin Biddle, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Professor Peter Erik Lasko, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; also for the re-appointment of Dr. Peter Kidson, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Professor Andrew Colin Renfrew, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Dr. Irene Joan Thirsk, Fellow of the British Academy.

4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the archaeological sites and churches within the Borough of Northampton, an area containing 206 monuments.

5. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of these monuments, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication entitled Northamptonshire V.

6. The method by which the material is presented differs from that adopted for the first four volumes in the series. It was felt that the analysis of the growth of Northampton should be available to as wide a public as possible yet increases in production costs meant that an Inventory published conventionally would have been expensive. The Inventory of finds and monuments in each parish is therefore presented in micro-fiche in the back of the book. The introduction, which traces the origins and growth of settlement within the area and sets the individual sites in a wider context, is published here in the usual way, together with plates and line-drawings; it also contains a guide to the material contained in the micro-fiche and an index to the micro-fiche. Print-outs of sections of the fiche can be provided if so required.

7. Within the Inventory the method of presentation of material has in general followed that adopted in the previous Inventories. The analysis of the development of Northampton, however, has demanded the inclusion of sites of religious institutions and made it impossible to exclude those which survive, namely the churches of Northampton and the surrounding parishes. These churches are therefore described in the Inventory.

8. The descriptions of the more important monuments have been submitted to specialist authorities. We are satisfied that no significant monument which survived until 1981 has been omitted.

9. Our special thanks are due to owners and occupiers who have allowed access to the monuments in their charge. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of many Institutions for their ready assistance to us and in particular to Mr. P.I. King, the Northamptonshire County Archivist; to Mr. W.N. Terry, Curator of Northampton Museums and Art Gallery for access to collections and records; to the Director-General of the Ordnance Survey for access to the archaeological records of his department; to Mr. D.R. Wilson, Curator of Aerial Photography in the University of Cambridge, for access to air photographs and also to Mr. R. Hollowell, Mr. J. Pickering, Mr. D.E. Cowley and Mr. G.R. Foard for supplying other air photographs. We further wish to express our thanks to those persons and organisations who have given particular help to our executive staff during the field investigation and later; their co-operation is greatly appreciated. They include Mr. A.E. Brown, Mr. G.R. Foard, Mr. V.A. Hatley, and Mr. W.R.G. Moore.

We gratefully record permission to reproduce illustrative material belonging to Browne and Wells of Northampton; we are also grateful to Northamptonshire Libraries for supplying reprints from which other illustrations have been derived.

10. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following monuments in Northampton as being especially worthy of preservation:

Roman, prehistoric and undated monuments


(1–4) Dallington Heath Complex


(14) Hunsbury Hill Fort

Medieval religious institutions


(3) Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

Billing, Great

(14) Parish Church of St. Andrew

Billing, Little

(6) Parish Church of All Saints


(1) Parish Church of St. Columba


(7) Parish Church of St. Mary


(6) Parish Church of St. Luke


(20) Parish Church of St. Edmund

Houghton, Great

(9) Parish Church of St. Mary


(7) Parish Church of St. John the Baptist


(20) Former Hospital of St. John

(21) Parish Church of All Saints

(22) Parish Church of the Holy Sepulchre

(23) Parish Church of St. Giles

(24) Parish Church of St. Peter

(27) Site of the former parish church of St. Gregory


(4) Church of St. Michael

Weston Favell

(7) Parish Church of St. Peter


(10) Parish Church of St. George

Medieval and later earthworks


(6) Deserted village of Abington


(6) Deserted village of Upton

11. The foregoing list is extremely short and indicates only the reasonably well-preserved upstanding monuments. However, the great bulk of the archaeological material relating to Northampton lies buried beneath the existing and continually expanding built-up areas. The value of this material has been revealed by the inevitably limited excavations which have been carried out within the borough during the last few years and it is essential that such excavations should continue whenever redevelopment or new construction take place, particularly within the Saxon core area.

12. We desire to express our acknowledgement of the good work accomplished by our executive staff in the production of this Inventory, particularly by Mr. C.C. Taylor who carried out much of the fieldwork, by Mrs. F.M. Brown for much preliminary work, by Mr. D.A.H. Richmond for preparing part of the introductory essay and by Mr. D.A.H. Richmond and Dr. T. Cocke for the recording of the churches, by Dr. M. Franklin for documentary research, and by our Illustrators Mr. A. Donald, Mr. P.N. Hammond and Mr. B. Thomason. The photography was undertaken by Mr. R. Braybrook and Mr. S. W. Cole. The editorial work and book production have been carried out by Mrs. S. E. Ault.

13. We would also desire to record our gratitude for the work of the staff of the Northampton Development Corporation Archaeological Unit in the production of the Inventory. In particular we wish to thank Mr. J.H. Williams, Dr. H. Bamford and Mr. M. Shaw for preparing the introductory essay, Mr. J.H. Williams, Mr. M. Shaw and Mrs. F. Williams for compiling the Inventory, Miss M. Gryspeerdt and Dr. H. Bamford for examining unpublished collections of finds and Mr. K. Connor for the preparation of illustrative material.

14. We further wish to acknowledge the ready co-operation of HMSO in the production of this volume.

15. We desire to add that our Secretary and General Editor, Dr. P.J. Fowler, has afforded us constant assistance.

16. The next Inventory of the Northamptonshire series will record buildings in the northern part of the county.

17. With deep regret we have to record the sudden death on 30th April 1984 of our Chairman, the Right Honourable the Lord Adeane of Stamfordham in the County of Northumberland, P.C., G.C.B., G.C.V.O. Lord Adeane was a sympathetic Chairman and kind colleague who was always active on behalf of the Royal Commission. The staff of the Royal Commission join with us in expressing gratitude for his guidance and sorrow at his death.


John Chandos—Pole

R.J.C. Atkinson

Paul Ashbee

A.R. Dufty

Peter Kidson

Colin Renfrew

Joan Thirsk

Maurice Beresford

R.A. Buchanan

A.L.F. Rivet

J.K. Downes

Harry Hookway

Charles Thomas

Martin Biddle

P. Lasko

P.J. Fowler (Secretary)