(OS 1:10000 a TL 09 NW, b TL 09 NE, c TL 09 SE)
The large parish of 1000 hectares occupies an irregularly-shaped area W. of the R. Nene which forms its E.
boundary. The land slopes gently E. to the river between
230 ft. and 45 ft. above OD, and small streams have cut
shallow valleys into it. Most of the parish is on limestone, sands and marls, but on the higher land in the
extreme W. these are overlain by Boulder Clay.
The major monuments in the parish (1–20) include a
large Roman 'village', enclosures, and a considerable
number of ring ditches. These lie close to the river S.E.
of the village, all on limestone or river gravels. In the
same area an important Saxon cemetery (27) has been
Prehistoric and Roman
b(1–15) Fotheringhay Lodge complex (Fig. 50), in the S.E.
of the parish on gravel and limestone along the edge of the R.
Nene flood-plain at about 50 ft. above OD. The major part of
the site comprises a large Roman village with a main 'street'
or trackway running through it; the village mainly lies within
Nassington parish but it has been described for convenience
under Fotheringhay (Fotheringhay (13)). The pit alignment on
the E. of the complex is also listed under the latter parish
(Fotheringhay (10)). All the monuments listed below as ring
ditches are probably former barrows, but some may be hut
circles connected with the settlement. (CUAP, ATZ78, AHN95,
AVD54, ZB23; air photographs in NMR)
b(1) Ring ditch (TL 07519550), at the extreme N. end of
the Roman settlement, diam. 25 m.
b(2) Ring ditch (TL 07549546), 14 m. S. of (1), diam. 30 m.
b(3) Ring ditch (TL 07569532), 105 m. S. of (2), diam. 30 m.
b(4) Ring ditch (TL 07549532), immediately W. of (3),
diam. 10 m.
b(5) Ring ditches (TL 07569531), immediately S. of (3).
Two concentric ditches, diams. 25 m. and 13 m., with a slightly
eccentric pit or grave.
b(6) Ring ditch (TL 07629531), 15 m. E. of (5), diam. 15 m.
b(7) Ring ditch (TL 07599526), immediately S.E. of (5),
diam. 47 m.
b(8) Ring ditch (TL 07619523), immediately S.E. of (7) in
the corner of an enclosure, diam. 7 m. Possibly a hut circle.
b(9) Ring ditch (TL 07689528), 35 m. E. of (7), diam. 18 m.
The ditch bounding the E. side of the 'village' street runs into
this ring ditch and post-dates it.
Fig. 75 Nassington (16–20)
Swan's Nest Complex
b(10) Ring ditch (TL 07589509), 170 m. S. of (7), diam. 15 m.
b(11) Ring ditch (TL 07649511), 25 m. N.E. of (10), diam.
15 m., with a well-marked central pit or grave.
b(12) Ring ditch (TL 07809502), only partly visible on air
photographs and intersected by a ditch of a settlement; diam.
b(13) Ring ditch (TL 08069522), E. of the old railway, diam.
15 m. It is intersected by a long linear ditch, and a pit alignment
(Fotheringhay (10)) passes round its W. side and thus presumably post-dates it.
b(14) Ring ditch (TL 08089500), across the parish boundary
with Fotheringhay; diam. 30 m.
b(15) Roman settlement (?) (TL 07409522), immediately E.
of Lyveden Farm and may be connected with the main settlement to the E. A scatter of Roman pottery, including Nene
Valley wares of the 3rd and 4th centuries, has been found. (inf.
J. A. Hadman)
b(16–20) Swan's Nest complex (Fig. 75) occupies the land
between Nassington village and the Fotheringhay Lodge
Complex. Perhaps a continuation of the latter, it lies along the
edge of the R. Nene on river gravel at between 50 ft. and 75 ft.
above OD (CUAP, ADR35–6, ZB29–31, ZF49; air photographs
b(16) Enclosure (?) (TL 06959611), on the S. of a small
stream, the course of which is the result of modern alteration.
Because of this change and the permanently damp ground in
the area, only two parallel ditches, with a sharp bend at their
S. ends, are visible on air photographs. The remains are perhaps
the W. side of a small rectangular enclosure.
b(17) Enclosure (TL 06979604), to the S. of (16). Damp
ground prevents any trace of the N.E. side being recorded on
air photographs, but an entrance may have been here. A small
ring ditch on the S.E. side is probably a hut circle and vague
marks on air photographs suggest other possible hut circles to
the N. of it (not shown on Fig. 75). There is a large pit in the
S.W. corner which is also intersected by the long linear ditch.
b(18) Linear ditches and Roman settlement (TL 06689598–
06959555), S.W. of (17). The ditches are indistinctly shown on
all available photographs, and extensive frost-wedges in the
gravel make interpretation of features difficult. There are perhaps more enclosures and other features in the area. At the
S.E. end of these ditches, between them and an old quarry
(centred TL 070957), traces of Roman occupation have been
discovered. Finds include pottery, building materials, charcoal
and animal bones. In addition, shallow depressions and at least
three hearths are recorded (Ant. J., XXIV (1944), 100).
b(19) Ring ditch (TL 07009573), near the E. side of (18),
diam. 22 m. (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 32)
b(20) Enclosure (TL 07059577), immediately E. of (19).
Small and sub-rectangular, with no visible entrance or internal
features. (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 32)
b(21) Ring ditch (TL 07109707), N.E. of the village, close
to the Yarwell parish boundary, on limestone at 100 ft. above
OD, overlooking the R. Nene; diam. 20 m. (CUAP, ZB32)
Fig. 76 Nassington (22) Crop-marks
Fig. 77 Nassington (23) Crop-marks
b(22) Settlement (TL 066970; Fig. 76), N. of the village
and close to the Yarwell parish boundary on limestone at
125 ft. above OD. Rectangular enclosures and associated
ditches, of complex character, are cut by an old quarry
b(23) Enclosures (TL 052964; Fig. 77), W. of the village
and just E. of New Sulehay on limestone at 150 ft. above OD.
Air photographs show a group of rectangular enclosures and
linear ditches as well as a length of ditched trackway. Only the
central enclosure, with its entrance on S. side, is clear on air
photographs; the others are indistinct and difficult to trace
(CUAP, ABV80, ADR27).
b(24) Roman settlement (?) (centred TL 062964), at the
N.W. end of the village, on limestone and clay at 100 ft. above
OD. Roman pottery and black earth were discovered before
1900 (VCH Northants., II (1906), 587).
a(25) Roman burial and iron-workings (centred TL
045985) found during quarrying. Part of a human skeleton,
associated with iron slag and 3rd-century pottery, has been
discovered. (CBA Group 7, Bull. 12 (1965), 2)
a(26) Roman iron-workings (centred TL 048986), in the
N.W. of the parish, close to the Roman Road W. from Wansford (571). Artis' map of the area shows four iron-working sites
(E. T. Artis, Durobrivae, (1828), Plate I).
For the ditched trackway in the W. of the parish, see
For Roman Road 571, see p. 117.
Medieval and Later
b(27) Saxon cemetery (TL 07169564; Fig. 75) was found in
a gravel pit in 1942 on the edge of the flood-plain of the R.
Nene 50 ft. above OD. Only part of the remains was recorded
and much was probably destroyed by the gravel-diggings.
Three cremations in pots, two containing bronze and iron
objects, were discovered. In addition, 56 graves containing the
remains of 65 bodies, all but three with grave goods, were
noted. The latter included shield bosses, spearheads, knives, a
bucket, brooches of all types, clasps, beads, pendants and pins.
(Arch. J., XXIII (1943), 58; XXIV (1944), 100–28; J. Northants.
Nat. Hist. Soc. and F. C., XXXI (1949), 34–5; A. Meaney,
Gazetteer, 192–3; PM; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)
b(28) Saxon finds (TL 07029683), N.E. of the village on the
edge of the R. Nene, on sand at 50 ft. above OD. Saxon pottery
and a spindle whorl are said to have been found (OS Record
(29) Cultivation remains. The common fields of the parish
were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of 1777 (NRO, Map of
1778). Nothing is known of the arrangement of the fields immediately before that date. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields
is traceable on the ground and on air photographs N. (TL
065965), S.W. (TL 059956) and S.E. (TL 080952) of the village,
usually in the form of long end-on furlongs. Elsewhere, although no ridge-and-furrow remains, low ridges, formerly
headlands up to 700 m. long, are still visible on the ground.
(RAF VAP CPE/UK 1891, 1040–3, 2206–12, 4128–37; 2109,