(OS 1:10000 a SP 86 SE, b SP 85 NE, c SP 96 SW,
d SP 95 NW)
The parish, covering 1050 hectares, occupies a roughly
trapezoidal area against the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire boundaries, between 52 m. and 110 m. above
OD. The greater part of the parish is on Boulder Clay,
except in the N.E. where the down-cutting of the
Grendon Brook has exposed a large area of Great Oolite
Limestone. The village is situated on the outcrop of the
latter. Intensive fieldwork and air photography have led
to the discovery of a notable number of Iron Age and
Roman settlements, mainly on the Boulder Clay areas.
Prehistoric and Roman
c(1) Ring Ditch (?) (SP 91156034), lies in the N.
of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 91 m. above OD. Air
photographs (in NMR) show a cropmark of a ring ditch,
20 m. in diam. There are slight indications of internal
features (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 3, Bozeat (1)). Roman
pottery and building stone have been found in the same
field (see (8) below).
d (2) Iron Age Settlement (?) (SP 909575), S.
of the village, on Boulder Clay at 100 m. above OD. A
scatter of Iron Age B sherds has been found (Beds. Arch.
J., 3 (1966), 3).
d(3) Iron Age Settlement (?) (SP 906576), W.
of (2) and in a similar position. Iron Age pottery and
lumps of ironstone have been found (Beds. Arch. J.,
3 (1966), 3).
d(4) Iron Age Settlement (SP 900566;
Fig. 46), immediately W. of Bozeat Grange, on Boulder
Clay at 107 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR;
CUAP, LS 79–81, VO 9–10) show a number of circular
features associated with a large D-shaped enclosure and
some linear ditches. Excavations were carried out on the
site between 1963 and 1967. The ditch of the large
enclosure was sectioned and a ditch 3 m. wide and 2.7 m.
deep was revealed. A trench inside this enclosure showed
part of a hut-circle floored with cobbles. One of the
circular features ('a' on Fig. 46) was also partly examined;
this had a surrounding ditch, 2.6 m. wide and 1.8 m.
deep. Within it was a hut-circle 17 m. across. The pottery
was of late Iron Age type. Earlier ditches were also discovered (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3; 7 (1972), 13,
d(5) Iron Age Settlement (SP 911579), S.W.
of the village on Boulder Clay at 99 m. above OD. There
was an area of blackened pebbles associated with sherds
of Iron Age B pottery (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3,
b(6) Roman Building (SP 89595998), lies 1 km.
N.W. of Bozeat, on clay at 62 m. above OD. A circular
building some 15 m. in diam., possibly a shrine, was excavated in 1964. It had internal partitions and four
central posts and was surrounded by an area of metalling.
A cambered surface flanked by drains on the E. indicated an entrance. It was said to date from the second
half of the 2nd century (JRS, 55 (1965), 210; 56 (1966),
207; Beds. Arch. J., 5 (1970), 57–65).
a(7) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 895602), lies
230 m. N. of (6) in a similar situation. A scatter of
Roman pottery over about 10 sq. m. has been found. It
may be an extension of (6) or associated with it (Beds.
Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3).
c(8) Roman Settlement (SP 910604), close to
the N. edge of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 91 m.
above OD. Roman pottery and building stone have been
found (Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3; OS Record Cards).
c(9) Enclosure and Roman Settlement
(SP 92756010; Fig. 18), in the N.W. of the parish,
immediately W. of the Roman Road 170, on Boulder
Clay at 95 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR)
show a cropmark of a small D-shaped enclosure. Just
outside it to the S.E. Roman pottery, pebbles, lime-stone rubble and a quernstone have been found (Beds.
Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3; BNFAS, 6 (1971), 3, Bozeat
(3)). Further W. (at SP 92596001) more Roman pottery
and rubble have been recorded (OS Record Cards).
d(10) Roman Settlement (SP 906587), immediately S. of the old village centre, on Boulder Clay
at 84 m. above OD. During modern housing develop
ment a late 1st-century occupation site was discovered,
with at least three kilns of the updraught type, producing large, coarse-ware vessels. In addition three
rectangular and two circular stone buildings of the 3rd
century were found. One of the former had painted
wall plaster (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 13, Bozeat (1);
BNFAS, 4 (1970), 6).
For Saxon burials, see (14).
c(11) Settlement (SP 906603; Fig. 18), in the
N. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 91 m. above OD.
Air photographs (in NMR) show a small irregular enclosure with an entrance on the S. from which project two
curving 'antennae'. This is set within a larger rectangular
enclosure (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 3, Bozeat (2)).
Fig. 18 Bozeat (11) Cropmarks,
(9) Roman settlement
d(12) Ditches (SP 904572; Fig. 46), N. of Bozeat
Grange on Boulder Clay at 99 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show three curving ditches.
d(13) Industrial Sites (?) (SP 904563, 900575,
900570, 901568; Fig. 46), all S. of the village, on
Boulder Clay. They consist of areas of either charcoal or
iron slag similar to those of known Iron Age or Roman
sites (OS Record Cards; Beds. Arch. J., 3 (1966), 3).
Recent work, however, suggests that these may be
medieval (CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 6 (1976), 28).
For Roman Road 170, see p. 188.
Medieval and Later
d(14) Anglo-Saxon Burials (SP 906586),
associated with the Roman Settlement (10). Three
inhumations, one with a necklace and a brooch of the
small-long type of 6th-century date, were discovered
(Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 13, Bozeat (16)).
d(15) Manor House Site (SP 90855895), lies in
the S.E. of the village, on limestone at 91 m. above OD.
The remains are probably those of the manor house of
the main manor of Bozeat, usually known as Latimers
(VCH Northants., IV (1937), 3–5). It had already been
demolished by the early 18th century when the area was
known as Bery Yard. More recently it has been called
Bury Yard Field (J. Bridges, Hist. of Northants., II
(1791), 158; J.H. Marlow, The History of Bozeat Village,
(1936), 5). The S. part of the site has now been built
over and only a few indeterminate earthworks survive.
Close to the village street a well-marked rectangular platform, some 15 m. by 5 m., cut back into the slope,
probably represents the position of former buildings, but
it is unlikely to be the manor house itself. The site was
devoid of buildings in 1799 (NRO, Enclosure Map; RAF
VAP CPE/UK/1994, 3190–1).
d(16) Settlement Remains (centred SP 904590),
lie in and around the village in various places. The most
notable lie in the angle between Easton Road and
London Road on land sloping E. to a small brook (SP
904590). Here there are at least three large rectangular
closes extending W. from the London Road and bounded
by banks and scarps up to 1.75 m. high. These closes
are sub-divided by low scarps, and the centre one has a
large ditched and banked enclosure within it at its W.
end. The boundary banks and scarps appear to be constructed of limestone rubble. Extensive later quarrying
has greatly damaged the remains. There are no traces of
buildings in these closes, although recent widening of the
London Road may have destroyed any which formerly
Elsewhere in the village are other earthworks, probably
also part of the village. Immediately W. of Church Farm
on the E. side of the London Road (SP 90505912) are
very disturbed remains, in a small paddock. E. of Manor
Farm in the E. of the village (SP 90905908) is a rectangular enclosure; it is bounded on the E. by a large
bank 1 m. high and 9 m. wide and on the N. and S. by
much slighter banks only 3 m. wide and 0.25 m. high,
and is surrounded on the E., N. and S. by ridge-and-furrow. It also has ridge-and-furrow within it. Immediately N. and W. of the church and vicarage (SP 9053
5920 and 90625927) are two pasture closes with very
slight indeterminate earthworks. All these sites were
already devoid of building in 1799 (NRO, Enclosure
Map; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1994, 3190–1).
(17) Cultivation Remains. The common fields
of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament in
1798 (NRO, Enclosure Map, 1799). Immediately prior
to that date there were three large open fields, covering
all but the S.W. of the parish, called Dytches, Mill and
Wood Fields. On two maps of 1605 (All Souls College,
Oxford, photocopy in NRO) the same three fields are
shown, but Mill Field appears to have been known as
Sandewell Field. By the 17th century at least the S.E.
part of the parish round Bozeat Grange (SP 903566)
was emparked, though both it and the area to the E.
known as the Wolds, were under cultivation at an earlier
date. Assarting in woodland is known to have taken
place in 1264, and some small areas of wood still
survived in 1544 (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 5). However, the few remaining patches of woodland can all be
shown to have been established on former arable land.
Ridge-and-furrow remains or can be traced on air photographs over the entire parish except for the meadows
liable to flood N.W. of the village and along the edges of
small streams, indicating that the extent of arable land
had once been much wider than it was by the early 17th
century. The arrangement of ridges agrees exactly with
the layout of strips shown on the 1605 map. It is arranged
in end-on and interlocked furlongs, many of reversed-S
form, with a marked tendency for the ridges to run
across the contours along the valley sides. A number of
medieval roads running through the fields can also be
seen, for example in the E. of the parish a long N.-S.
sunken trackway passing between furlongs is still recognisable (SP 923596; CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 3
(1973), 32; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 4001–4;/1994,
1199–1203, 2195–8, 3190–4, 4199–4201; /2546,