(OS 1: 10000 a SP 76 NW, b SP 76 NE, c SP 76 SW,
d SP 76 SE)
The present parish only covers about 500 hectares having
lost some land in the S. to Northampton. It consists of a
roughly rectangular area mainly on Northampton Sand
between 85 m. and 115 m. above OD. except along the
streams which form the boundary on the W. and N. where
the underlying Upper Lias Clay is exposed and in the
extreme S.W. where on ground rising to just over 120 m.
there are areas of limestone.
Some prehistoric and Roman material is recorded from
the parish but much has probably been lost as a result of
ironstone quarrying in the N.W.
Though Boughton itself appears always to have been a
centre of settlement in medieval and later times the
existence of the now deserted Boughton Green (7), with the
parish church and evidence of a medieval fair there,
indicates either a second or even an earlier centre of
Prehistoric and Roman
A Neolithic axe of whitish flint was found in the parish
before 1904 (NM). Worked flints, including arrowheads,
have also been discovered (e.g. SP 764655; BNFAS, 5
(1971), 35). A leaf-shaped arrowhead came from SP
75276569 (OS Record Cards) and a barbed-and-tanged
example from SP 75086480 (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 2). Two
quernstones, upper and lower, of local stone and probably
of Iron Age date, were found during ironstone-working
near SP 739668. The area is now reclaimed and ploughed
(OS Record Cards). A feature recorded as a ring ditch (SP
74656520; BNFAS. 6 (1971), 3) is part of a Second World
War anti-aircraft battery.
a(1) Enclosure (?) (SP 745662), N.E. of Boughton
Grange on Northampton Sand at 93 m. above OD. Air
photographs (not seen by RCHM) are said to show the
cropmarks of an enclosure but it may simply be the result
of frost fracture (BNFAS, 5 (1971), 39).
Fig. 24 Boughton (4) Roman settlement, (7) Deserted medieval settlement at Boughton Green
a(2) Barrow, pits and ditches (centred SP 74756585), E.
and S.E. of Boughton Grange on Northampton Sand at
106 m. above OD. The mound, which stands on the N.
edge of the field, is tree covered, and an attempted
excavation shortly before 1968 was not completed because
of the roots. The mound is 2.2 m. high and 15 m. in diam.
and no ditch is visible. Two pits or ditches were found in
the face of the ironstone quarry in the same field in 1973.
From one of these came a sherd of a Neolithic or Bronze
Age vessel with a pronounced shoulder-ridge and finger-nail decoration on the collar (SP 74746569). Several worked
flints have been found in the same field (OS Record Cards;
Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 83; air photographs in
b(3) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 765667), in the extreme
N.E. of the parish on Northampton Sand at 100 m. above
OD. Several sherds of Roman coarse wares were found on
spoil heaps at a disused quarry (BNFAS, 5 (1971), 22,
described as from Moulton). Air photographs (in NMR)
show some very indistinct cropmarks in the general area.
These include part of an irregular enclosure intersected by
linear ditches, as well as other possible ditches or
enclosures, all covering six hectares.
b(4) Roman Settlement (?)(centred SP 763655; Fig. 24),
lies in and around the deserted medieval settlement of
Boughton Green (7), on Northampton Sand at 105 m.
above OD. Roman pottery, found in 1969, is recorded
from immediately S. of the green (SP 762653; BNFAS, 4
(1970), 16). More, including Nene Valley type wares, was
discovered on the green itself in 1976 (RCHM) and a coin
of Faustina was found in 1977 (NM Records).
a(5) Roman settlement and well (SP 745657), S. of
Boughton Grange, on Northampton Sand at 105 m. above
OD. A well, Roman pottery and 'leather' are said to have
been discovered in this area in 1936 (OS Record Cards).
The site has been quarried away.
Medieval and Later
b(6) Saxon Burial (around SP 753658), within the
village, on Northampton Sand at 100 m. above OD. An
inhumation burial was found in Boughton in 1917 but
there is no detailed information about the find (OS Record
Cards; Meaney, Gazetteer, 187).
b(7) Deserted Settlement of Boughton Green (SP
763655; Fig. 24), lies 800 m. E. of the present village on
the W. side of a small valley on Northampton Sand
between 98 m. and 108 m. above OD. The triangular
green and the isolated church of St. John the Baptist suggest
that there was a settlement here, but its history is ill
documented. The site was deserted by the early 16th
century, for then it was said that the parish church of St.
John the Baptist was 'distant iii pts of a myle from ye
towne or any house' (Whellan, Dir., 227). In the early 18th
century Bridges (Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 411) described
the church, then in ruins. The site was still completely
deserted in the early 19th century (OS 1st ed. 1 in. map
(1834)). A well-known medieval fair was held on the green
from the middle of the 14th century onwards (VCH
Northants., IV (1937), 77).
The site consists of the former triangular green,
covering about 3 hectares, now under permanent arable.
No buildings remain except in the N.E. corner where the
ruined church stands in its walled churchyard. All the land
to the E., W. and S. of the green is now arable, but that to
the N. is pasture. Along the E. of the green a scatter of
stone and pottery of 12th to 18th-century date has been
noted recently, and from the S. further unspecified
medieval pottery is recorded (SP 762653; BNFAS, 4 (1970),
16). On the green itself four 17th-century coins and a
Nuremburg token, large quantities of medieval and post-medieval pottery, post-medieval glass and clay pipes have
been found as well as Roman material (see (4) above;
BNFAS, 5 (1971), 35). Before it was ploughed the green is
said to have had an 'undulating surface caused partly by
extensive quarrying' (VCH, op. cit.) and also to have had a
turf-cut maze on it (8).
b(8) Maze (around SP 763655), lay somewhere on
Boughton Green (7) but has been destroyed. It was a turf-cut maze known as the Shepherds Race, Maze or
Labyrinth, and was already said to be neglected in 1849
though apparently still discernible in 1946 (Wetton, Guide
to Northampton, (1849), 96; G.E. Stephenson, Guide to
Boughton (c. 1946); Ass. Arch. Soc. Reps., 4 (1857–8), 260;
W. H. Matthews, Mazes and Labyrinths (1922), 75–6).
b(9) Medieval Pottery (SP 757663), E. of Butchers
Spinney on Northampton Sand at 80 m. above OD.
Sherds of early medieval pottery including St. Neots ware
were found during field-walking in 1970 (BNFAS, 5
b(10) Medieval pottery (SP 759659), E. of the village on
Northampton Sand at 100 m. above OD. Medieval pottery
was found during field-walking in 1969 (BNFAS, 4 (1970),
(11) Cultivation remains. The common fields of the
parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1756 (VCH
Northants., IV (1937), 77). Very little ridge-and-furrow
survives on the ground or can be traced on air photographs,
probably because of the light sandy soils combined with
modern cultivation. A curving block of reversed-S ridge-and-furrow is visible S.E. of the village (SP 754654) and
another to the S.W. (SP 749655; RAF VAP CPE/UK/1994,