(OS 1:10000 a SP 87 SW, b SP 87 SE, c SP 86 NW,
d SP 86 NE)
The roughly rectangular parish, covering just over 500
hectares, lies to the N.E. of Northampton. The ground
is mostly undulating, and covered by Boulder Clay,
between 114 m. and 137 m. above OD, except in the
N.E. where the down-cutting of a small stream near the
village has exposed limestones, clays and silts along its
valley sides. The medieval and later earthworks (1–4),
though partly damaged, are interesting with regard to
the possible origins of the settlement and its manorial
Medieval and Later
cd(1) Settlement Remains (SP 850698; Fig. 70;
Plate 11), formerly part of Hardwick, lie immediately S.
and S.W. of the church and manor house, on limestone
and clay at 107 m. above OD. The extant earthworks
have been much damaged by quarrying and modern
agricultural activity and now only a group of rectangular
paddocks, bounded by shallow ditches or low scarps,
survives. They appear to be part of a rectilinear layout
which follows the existing arrangement of village streets.
This supposition is supported by the evidence of two
maps of 1587 (PRO, copy in NRO) and 1684 (NRO).
Both show the area of the earthworks already abandoned,
but they depict, at the N. end of the village, an 'island'
bounded on its S.W. and S.E. sides by the present roads,
and on the N.W. and N.E. by roads now no longer in
existence. This area may have originated as a rectangular
village green which, by the 16th century, had been
partly encroached upon. Slight traces of these roads and
part of the island still survive as earthworks. The whole
arrangement of earthworks and existing village may
reflect a consciously arranged plan of the original settlement (CUAP, AWU 97, AZX 41). The available
documentary evidence indicates that Hardwick was
always small, and never suffered a major reduction in
population. Domesday Book lists a recorded population
of 14 (VCH Northants., I (1902), 354). In 1348–9 the
vill paid a tax of 35s. 6d. (PRO, E179/155/3) and in
1974 14 people paid Hearth Tax (PRO, E179/254/14).
In 1801 there was a total of 68 people in the parish.
Fig. 70 Hardwick (1) Settlement remains, (2) Fishpond, (3) Pond, (4) Garden remains
d(2) Fishponds (SP 852698; Fig. 70; Plate 11),
lie immediately E. of the manor house in the shallow
valley of a N.-flowing stream, on clay at 98 m. above
OD. The site consists of a group of four ponds within, or
to one side, of the stream. At the S.W. end are two long
narrow rectangular ponds lying parallel to each other
and much damaged by later activity, with a larger
rectangular pond to the N.E. To the S.E. of these ponds
is a bank and outer ditch, which appears once to have
been a bypass-channel round them. To the N.E. is a
larger shallow pond with a well-marked dam at its N. end
(CUAP, AWU 97, AZX 41).
d(3) Pond (SP 853699; Fig. 70; Plate 11), lies
150 m. N. of (2) in the same valley and in a similar
position. It consists of a small earthen dam 1.5 m. high,
and broken in the centre, with traces of the original
pond edges marked by low scarps.
d(4) Garden Remains (SP 85086971; Fig. 70;
Plate 11), lie immediately S.W. of the manor and S. of
the church between the fishponds (2) and the settlement
remains (1). They consist of a simple rectangular
enclosure extending S.W. from the manor house and
bounded only by a shallow ditch or scarp. The enclosure
appears to coincide with the boundary of an elaborate
formal knot garden which is depicted on the 1587 map
of the parish (PRO). This was probably laid out in
1567–8 by Thomas Neally who appears, from his arms
which are on an overmantle in the manor house, to have
altered the building at that time (VCH Northants., IV
a(5) Pillow Mound (SP 83247033), immediately
E. of Hardwick Wood, on Boulder Clay at 128 m. above
OD. It consists of a low, flat-topped rectangular mound,
orientated E.—W., 10 m. long, 3 m. wide and only 0.25
m. high, surrounded by a shallow ditch (RAF VAP CPE/
(6) Cultivation Remains. The exact date of
enclosure of the common fields of the parish is not
known but it had certainly taken place by 1684 (map in
NRO), and perhaps considerably earlier, since Bridges
says that in 1720 the parish had been enclosed for about
100 years (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 175). In 1587
(Map in PRO, copy in NRO) there were three open
fields, Moore, Wood, and East Fields ('Campi Orientalis').
A large area of pasture known as Little and Great Neates
Pasture separated these fields from Short Wood in the W.
which was at that time much larger.
Ridge-and-furrow can be traced on the ground or
from air photographs over most of the parish in end-on
or interlocked furlongs, not only in the common fields
but also in Little Neates Pasture (SP 836705) and where
parts of Short Wood have been cleared (e.g. SP 828701;
RAF VAP CPE/UK/1925, 1358–64, 4232–8; F21 540/
RAF/1312, 0242–8; FSL 6603, 1971–3).