Easton-on-the-Hill

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English Heritage

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1975

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37-38

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'Easton-on-the-Hill', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 1: Archaeological sites in North-East Northamptonshire (1975), pp. 37-38. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=126240 Date accessed: 27 August 2014.


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19 EASTON-ON-THE-HILL

(OS 1:10000 a SK 90 SE, b TF 00 NW, c TF 00 SW)

The parish covering 1800 hectares lies to one side of the R. Welland which forms its E. and N. boundaries. Most of the area is a flat limestone tableland between 250 ft. and 300 ft. above OD, which ends precipitously along the river, here flowing at about 100 ft. above OD.

Prehistoric

c(1) Ring ditch (TF 00140422), on the N. side of Ketton Drift near its W. end, on limestone at 300 ft. above OD. Diam. 30 m. with a possible causeway across the ditch on its S. side. (CUAP, BCD 82–3)

c(2) Ring ditch (TF 00160418), 35 m. S.S.E. of (1) and in a similar position. Diam. 10 m. (CUAP, BCD 82–3)

Medieval and Later

bc(3) Deer park (centred TF 022050; Fig. 47), S.E. of the A43 road, against the Wothorpe-Easton parish boundary on ground sloping N. between 175 ft. and 275 ft. above OD. The underlying rock is Northampton Sand. It covers nearly 17 hectares of woodland known as Wothorpe Groves.

The park was formed in 1229 when Alan Lindon obtained Royal Licence to enclose his wood called La Loude and to make a park. It is mentioned in 1298 and again in the middle of the 14th century (VCH Northants., II (1906), 566). It was called Le Grave or Graves but nothing is known of its subsequent history. The area is shown as an old enclosure on the Enclosure Map of 1820 (NRO).


Fig. 47 Easton-On-The-Hill (3) Collyweston (8) and Wadenhoe (5) Deer parks

The park is bounded on all sides, except the S. part of the S.E. side, by a massive bank, up to 10 m. wide and 1 m. high, although on the W. side this has been mutilated by road works. A relatively recent stone wall, either standing or traceable as footings, exists along most of the circuit, and closes the gap where no bank exists on the S.E. side. No original entrances are visible; in a few places the bank has been damaged by later stone quarrying.

c(4) Quarries (TF 004039 and 009037–020044), S.W., S. and E. of the village, covering large areas. They are the remains of workings for the well-known Collyweston Slate, the deposits of which extended N.W. into this parish. (see Collyweston (11))

(5) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1820 (NRO, maps of 1819 and 1820). Immediately before that date, there were three common fields around the village, although to the N. there were extensive old enclosures within the existing strips. In the S. half of the parish, the land W. of the King's Cliffe road had also been enclosed, but that to the E. was open heathland. Apart from one block of ridge-and-furrow to the W. of the village (SK 996044), which lay in an old enclosure in 1820, the only remains of the common fields take the form of long low sinuous ridges up to 600 m. long and 30 m. wide. These former headlands are still visible on the ground in the former Wood Field (TF 012034), in the former Race Field (TF 020040, 028038 and 018030) and in the former Little Field (TF 005040). (RAF VAP CPE/UK 1891, 4049; 1925, 4117–8; 2109, 3027–33)

c(6) Stamford racecourse (TF 02060378–03540410) lies W. of the village and extends across the county boundary into Wothorpe parish in the Soke of Peterborough.

Racing was being organized in the area in the early 17th century, but the present course was established in 1717 and continued in use until 1873. The earliest course was an oval one confined within a rectangular area of land which extended across the parish boundary with Wothorpe, but after the en closure of Easton-on-the-Hill in 1820 it extended W. to provide also a straight mile-course.

The remains consist of the later mile-course, now visible as a long narrow strip of land, almost exactly one mile (1.6 km.) long and 40 m.-70 m. wide, bounded for the most part by modern hedges. No trace exists of the oval course although the boundaries of the area are still marked by modern hedges. Near the end of the mile-course, on its N. side and just in Wothorpe parish (TF 03480413), are the remains of the grandstand built in 1766 at the winning-post. (F. Hance, Stamford Theatre and Racecourse, (1970); NRO, Enclosure and Pre-Enclosure Maps of Easton-on-the-Hill, 1819 and 1820)



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