32 HARROWDEN, LITTLE
(OS 1:10000 a SP 87 SW, b SP 87 SE)
The extremely narrow and irregular parish, nearly 7 km.
long and little more than 0.5 km. wide for most of its
length, lies immediately N. of Great Harrowden and
Hardwick parishes, with which it perhaps once formed
a single unit. It covers nearly 630 hectares, W. of the R.
Ise, and on the N. and S. is largely bounded by small
streams draining E. The E. part of the parish consists of
a generally flat-topped ridge around 91 m. above OD,
entirely of Northampton Sand, and surrounded by large
areas of Upper Lias Clay. In the extreme S. of the parish
the land is covered by Boulder Clay between 122 m. and
137 m. above OD. The down-cutting of the adjacent
streams has exposed bands of clays, limestones and silts
along their valley sides.
Prehistoric and Roman
A few Roman sherds have been found in the W. of
the parish (SP 857708) but not in any quantity (BNFAS,
2 (1967), 14; OS Record Cards).
b(1) Ring Ditch (?) (SP 86677089), S.W. of the
village, on limestone at 95 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show part of a ring ditch, 30 m. in
diam. (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 14, Little Harrowden (2)).
b(2) Enclosures, Ditches and Pit Alignment (SP 895719; Fig. 78), in the E. of the parish near
the R. Ise, on clay at 49 m. above OD. Air photographs
(CUAP, ZE 16–17, ZJ 86–88) show a complex area of
cropmarks including a number of small rectangular
enclosures, some circular features, perhaps hut-sites, a
short length of pit alignment which continues at both
ends as a ditch, and a number of other ditches (Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 44).
b(3) Enclosures (SP 878722; Fig. 79), N.E. of the
village, on sand at 95 m. above OD. Air photographs
(CUAP, ABV 58–59, and in NMR) show a group of
enclosures and ditches of complex form, suggesting
b(4) Pit Alignment (SP 88077200–88197190),
350 m. S.E. of (3), on sand at 91 m. above OD. Air
photographs (CUAP, ABV 58–59) show a pit alignment
orientated N.W.—S.E. and traceable for 200 m.
b(5) Enclosure (SP 875718; Fig. 79), N.E. of the
village, on sand at 95 m. above OD. Air photographs (in
NMR) show, very indistinctly, a large rectangular enclosure and a number of associated ditches. Some
worked flints and a little medieval pottery have been
found on the site (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 5).
Medieval and Later
b(6) Settlement Remains (SP 870714),
formerly part of Little Harrowden, lie on the S.E. side of
the village, on the W. side of a small valley. Slight
remains of a series of embanked closes extend down the
valley and are probably abandoned paddocks of the
existing houses to the N.W. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1925,
Fig. 78 Little Harrowden (2) Cropmarks
Fig. 79 Little Harrowden (3, 5)
b(7) Mound (SP 87637190), lies N.E. of the village,
on Northampton Sand at 96 m. above OD. It is 30 m.
in diam. and 0.5 m. high and has been ploughed. There
are many fragments of stone and limestone roof slabs,
and roof tiles of Lyveden type. In addition a little
medieval and post-medieval pottery has been found on
it, as well as three flint blades (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 5, 17).
(8) Cultivation Remains. The common fields
of the parish were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of
1781. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields can be traced
on the ground or on air photographs in the W. of the
parish and around the village, though little has survived
E. of the village. Most of the ridge-and-furrow is in
end-on furlongs, though there are some interlocked
furlongs which appear to be determined by the relief,
the ridges being orientated at right-angles to the
contours (e.g. at SP 855705 and 856710). There are
several well-marked headlands up to 300 m. long and
25 m. wide (e.g. at SP 856710 and 853708). The most
impressive of these (from SP 858703 to 868713) is some
1500 m. long, with several sharp changes of direction.
In the extreme W. part of the parish is a small area
known as Breach Close which was part of the Lordship
of Wythmail in 1754 (Map in NRO) and must have been
cleared woodland. However there is no trace of ridge
and-furrow within this area (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1925,
1358–60, 3351–64, 2351–6, 3238–44, 4233–8; F21
540/RAF/1312, 0246–8, 0204–15; F22 540/RAF/
1312, 0204–8; 541/611, 3067–70).