34 HADDON, WEST
(OS 1: 10000 a SP 67 SW, b SP 67 SE, c SP 66 NW)
The parish covers just over 1080 hectares, and is roughly
rectangular with a triangular area extending from the S.
side. Except for the N.E. and S.E. corners almost all of the
boundaries are determined by streams, and the high central
part of the parish which rises to over 182 m. above OD
forms a watershed from which streams drain generally
N.W. or S.E. Nearly all of the area is covered by glacial
deposits, in particular large expanses of sands and gravels.
Small areas of Middle and Upper Lias Clay and
Northampton Sand are exposed along the valley sides
mainly on the peripheries of the parish. Little of
archaeological interest has been discovered.
Prehistoric and Roman
a(1) Barrow (?) (SP 641715), called Oster Hill, is said to
have lain S.E. of the village on glacial gravel at 174 m.
above OD. Bridges (Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 599),
writing in about 1720, said that it was 'an eminence' and
that 'under it, according to vulgar tradition, are buried
several officers who fell in battle'. He goes on to conjecture
that 'it is the tumulus of Publius Ostorius'. However no
trace of a mound exists on the ground and it is possible that
the place-name, of Scandinavian origin, 'Austr' meaning
East (PN Northants., 71), has led to the identification of a
low natural hill as a barrow and has produced this unlikely
a(2) Roman burial and coins (around SP 628719). A
Roman urn containing ashes and covered with a flat stone
was found at the W. end of West Haddon village before
1712 (J. Morton, Nat. Hist. of Northants. (1712), 530).
Roman coins were found in the same area between 1693
and 1747. No other details are known (OS Record Cards).
Medieval and Later
(3) Cultivation remains. The common fields of the
parish were enclosed by an Act of Parliament in 1765
(NRO, Enclosure Map). The original Act records that,
before enclosure, in addition to the common fields there
were 800 acres of heath, common and waste ground as well
as 'Two Rye Hills'. Though the location of these areas is
unknown, the recoverable ridge-and-furrow is so
extensive as to indicate that most of them must have been
under cultivation at an early period. The ridge-and-furrow is preserved on the ground or is visible on air
photographs throughout most of the centre and S. parts of
the parish but in the N., apart from a few isolated furlongs,
it has been largely destroyed. In the S. much of it is
orientated N.–S. in end-on furlongs, with a few blocks at
right-angles. Around the village the predominant
orientation is E.–W., although there is a pronounced
pattern of interlocked furlongs to the W. (RAF VAP
CPE/UK/1994, 1363–9, 1469–74).