(OS 1:10000 a SP 89 SW, b SP 89 SE, c SP 88 NW,
d SP 88 NE)
The modern parish of Cottingham, covering some 600
hectares, lies on the S. side of the R. Welland, which
forms its N. boundary. From the river, here flowing at
around 54 m. above OD, the land rises steeply across the
Jurassic scarp to a maximum height of 122 m. above OD.
Along the scarp face, clays and limestones are exposed
and these are capped by a generally flat area of Lincolnshire Limestone between 122 m. and 130 m. above OD,
the S.E. parts of which are overlain by Boulder Clay.
The village of Cottingham lies at the bottom of a deep
re-entrant valley cut back into the escarpment. The
Roman Road 57a makes use of this valley as it approaches the R. Welland. The medieval parish included
the now separate parish of Middleton to the S.W. as well
as the land to the W. of the Kettering-Uppingham Road
(A 6003), today part of Corby.
Prehistoric and Roman
A tumulus 'on the brow of the hill near Cottingham'
mentioned in the 18th century (J. Nichols, Hist. and
Ants. of Leics., I (1795), 148; unlocated) may be a misplacement of the undated mound in Middleton (2). A
few flint flakes have been discovered during fieldwalking at SP 858907 and 866905 (Northants. Archaeol.,
9 (1974), 83).
a(1) Roman Industrial Site (centred SP
843901), at the N. of the village, on clay at 73 m. above
OD. It includes:
(a) at SP 84309041 and 84249009, discoveries made
during building works in 1961–2, including stonework
which had been exposed to fire, and lumps of slag, which
indicate iron-working. A small Roman vase of the 1st
century was also found (Loughborough and Dist. A. S.
Bull., 5 (1962), 15).
(b) at SP 843902, during excavation in 1963 following
the previous finds at (a), one or two corn-drying ovens
and masonry foundations including those of a rectangular
building were found. Roman pottery ranging from the
2nd to the 4th century was present, and also coins,
including examples of Gallienus, Victorinus and Constantine the Great (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 60; OS Record
For Roman Road 57a, see p. 186.
Medieval and Later
b(2) Moat (SP 86189041; Figs. 31 and 115), within
part of the deer park of Rockingham which was created
in 1485 (Rockingham (12)). It lies within the Little
Coppice on Boulder Clay at 128 m. above OD. It may
represent the site of a late medieval park-keeper's lodge
and is shown on a map of 1615 (NRO) as a moated
building, with a pair of additional buildings and an
orchard occupying an enclosure to the S.W. It was then
used as a lodge for the accommodation of hunting
parties. However it would be unusual for a moat to be
constructed as late as 1485 and it may have much older
origins as a moated farmstead in the former forest wastes
of the parish. The site is still shown as a moated building,
approached by an avenue of trees, on an estate map of
1806 (NRO). The lodge itself was demolished around
1827. The moat consists of a rectangular enclosure 55 m.
by 65 m., surrounded by a ditch up to 8 m. wide and
1 m. deep. There is a causewayed entrance on the S.W.
side and traces of a slight outer bank on the N.W. and
N.E. sides. The interior is featureless (Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 74).
b(3) Enclosure and Pond (SP 86089013),
300 m. S.W. of (2) in a similar situation. A small embanked enclosure 30 m. square with a sub-rectangular
pond on its N.E. side and now almost ploughed out is
visible on air photographs taken in 1953 (RAF VAP F21
58/RAF/1210, 0015–6). The site is probably to be
associated with the surrounding deer park (Rockingham
(4) Cultivation Remains. The common fields
of the parish, together with those of Middleton, were
enclosed by Act of Parliament in the early 19th century
(NRO, Enclosure Map, 1825). Immediately prior to that
date there appear to have been seven open fields to the
N., N.E. and S. of the village.
Ridge-and-furrow of these fields exists on the ground
or can be traced from air photographs in a number of
places. It survives intact along the steep N.-facing edge
of the Welland Valley N.E. of the village (SP 845903 –
855908), in parts of the former Park and Meadow Fields.
Here it consists of rectangular blocks with pronounced
ridges running at right-angles to the contours. S. and S.E.
of the village are further traces of end-on furlongs in the
former Windmill Holme, Cattage Wood and Young Wood
Fields (SP 847892, 851892 and 852897). Ridge-and-furrow is also traceable as a block of end-on furlongs in
the extreme S.E. of the parish E. of Great Cattage Wood
(SP 856891). This area lay outside the common fields in
1825 and is shown as a wooded area in 1580 (NRO, Map
of Cottingham Woods). There are also considerable areas
of ridge-and-furrow in the E. of the parish within the
section of the former Rockingham Deer Park which was
made in 1485 (see Rockingham (12)). Here it is mainly
arranged in rectangular blocks with the ridges running at
right-angles to the contours. Some of it may be associated
with the moated site (2) which may also predate the
laying-out of the park (RAF VAP CPE/UK/2109, 4268–
70; 541/612, 3051–4; F21 58/RAF/1210, 0013–6;
F22 58/RAF/1210, 0014–5, 0022–5).
For Deer Park in E. of parish, see Rockingham (12).