(OS 1:10000 a SP 75 SE, b SP 74 NE, c SP 85 SW,
d SP 84 NW)
The parish covers nearly 600 hectares and extends
from the R. Tove in the S.W., at 74 m. above OD,
into Salcey Forest, still largely woodland, in the N.E.
at around 126 m. above OD. Boulder Clay covers
most of the parish, apart from small outcrops of
Oolite Limestone S. and E. of the village. The enclosure (1) within Salcey Forest, which is probably
of late prehistoric date, is a rare survival in the Midlands. The settlement remains (3)–(7) are part of an
unusual pattern of medieval settlement which is not
Prehistoric and Roman
A Neolithic polished flint axe was found in 1972 close
to Gordon's Lodge in the S.W. of the parish (SP 77394862;
Northants. Archaeol., 10 (1975), 151; OS Record Cards).
c(1) Enclosure (SP 801502; Fig. 68), probably an Iron
Age settlement, lies in the S.W. corner of Salcey Forest,
within Prentice Copse, on level ground, on Boulder Clay
at 122 m. above OD. Few such sites have survived as
earthworks, and this one has presumably been saved from
destruction because it is situated in an area of medieval and
modern woodland. The enclosure is roughly oval,
bounded by a continuous bank and external ditch with a
single plain inturned entrance in the centre of the E. side.
The bank is nowhere much above 0.5 m. high above the
interior; the ditch varies between 1.5 m. and 1.75 m. deep.
Apart from a later disturbance on the E. side, the bank is
complete and undamaged. The surrounding ditch has
modern drainage channels in it, and at its S. end and in
places along the E. side it has been destroyed by other
channels cut across it. The interior is featureless apart from
modern drains. Its traditional name is Egg Rings. The site
may be compared with similar enclosures in Wessex (e.g.
RCHM, Dorset, IV (1972), Tarrant Gunville (34)).
b(2) Roman Settlement (SP 768483), lies in the extreme
S.W. of the parish on Boulder Clay at 72 m. above OD.
and on the same site as a medieval settlement (6). Roman
coarse wares and part of a quern thought to be of the same
period have been found (OS Record Cards).
Fig. 68 Hartwell (1) Enclosure
Medieval and Later
(3–7) Medieval Settlements (Fig. 69). The modern village of Hartwell, formerly known as Hartwell Green, is
a large nucleated settlement lying against the N. boundary
of the parish. However there is much evidence to suggest
that this situation is relatively recent. Before extensive
building in the 19th and 20th centuries this village was
little more than a single street, on the S. side of a large
rectangular green part of which lay in Roade parish. There
was already some encroachment on the green by the mid
18th century (NRO, map of 1768). The village at that time
had the appearance of a secondary forest-edge settlement.
A parish church was erected in this village on a new site
in 1851. Before that there was only a chapel, located in the
S. of the parish in the now deserted settlement at Chapel
Farm (3) which was known as Hartwell up to 1835 (OS
1st ed. 1 in. map). The modern parish was formerly a
chapelry of Roade, though in Domesday Book a priest is
listed under Hartwell. It seems likely that the medieval
settlement pattern consisted of a group of hamlets, Bozenham (6), Hartwell (Chapel Farm (3)), Hartwell Green
and at least three others at Park Farm (7), Elms Farm (4)
and S.E. of Hartwell (5), as well as at Stonepit Farm which
lay within an area of old enclosures in 1768. The lost
settlement of Wyk Juxta Hertwell (PN Northants., 100)
may have been any one of these places.
b(3) Deserted Village of Hartwell (centred SP 784489;
Figs. 69 and 70, known as Hartwell in the 19th century
(OS 1st ed. 1 in. map, 1835), lies around Chapel Farm on
the S. side of a shallow valley, on Boulder Clay and limestone between 90 m. and 105 m. above OD. This village
must once have been the main settlement in the parish, but
all the population records presumably include the other
medieval settlements. Hartwell is first mentioned in
Domesday Book where it is listed as a single manor with
a total recorded population of 26 including a priest (VCH
Northants., I (1902), 308, 374). In 1301 49 people paid the
Lay Subsidy (PRO, E179/155/31) and for the Lay Subsidy
of 1334 Hartwell cum membris paid £7–0–13d (sic) (PRO,
E179/155/3). This sum was one of the largest paid in the
S.W. of the county. In 1377 81 people over the age of 14
paid Poll Tax (PRO, E179/155/27). In 1525 30 taxpayers
paid the Lay Subsidy (PRO, E179/155/130) and in 1673
102 people paid the Hearth Tax (PRO, E179/155/130). In
1801 the population of the parish was 357.
The earthworks of this village remained largely intact
until 1976 when some of them were destroyed by ploughing. The surviving parts lie N. and N.E. of the farm. In
the bottom of the valley ('a' on plan) are the remains of at
least two fishponds. The smaller is a simple rectangular
depression cut into the lower part of the valley side. Below
this and separated from it by a broad ditch is a long rectangular sunken pond with an earthen dam 1.75 m. high
at its S.W. end and with a later bank across it. This may
be an adaptation from an earlier and much larger pond
which may have occupied the whole of the flat valley
bottom. On the steep valley side to the S.E. ('b' on plan)
is a series of sub-rectangular platforms bounded by scarps
of 1 m. high with a broad ditch on their N.W. side. Immediately E. of the ditch is a large rectangular area ('c' on
plan), bounded on the S. and E. by a low bank and on the
N. by various scarps and ditches and covered with narrow
ridge-and-furrow. The footings of a two-cell building
abutting on the E. bank appear to be relatively recent and
are probably the remains of two cottages which are said
to have stood there.
From the S.E. corner of the enclosure a broad hollowway ('d' on plan) 1 m. deep, extends S.S.E. for 130 m.
and then forks. The E. branch runs for 140 m. before
fading out. The S.W. branch extends beyond the county
boundary into Buckinghamshire. On the E. side of the
main hollow-way, as well as in the area between its N.
end and the farm itself, are ploughed-down scarps and
banks of a series of closes and house platforms. These are
associated with dense spreads of limestone rubble and medieval pottery of the 12th to the 14th century and smaller
quantities of post-medieval sherds. Immediately W. of the
N. end of the main hollow-way a dry stone-lined well
0.75 m. in diam. and about 10 m. deep has been
Fig. 69 Hartwell Plan of the parish showing medieval settlements, fields and deer parks
The fragmentary foundations of the chapel which gives
the farm its name survive in the S.E. corner of the farmyard. It was of late 12th-century date and part of an arcade
of that period is incorporated in the existing parish church
at Hartwell Green built in 1851. Bridges described the
chapel in 1720 (Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 304) as consisting of a nave and a chancel with a north aisle, and later
alterations were noted by Baker (Hist. of Northants., II
At the extreme S. of the site, in Buckinghamshire, on
either side of the hollow-way there are large areas of stone
rubble and medieval and post-medieval pottery, associated
with several ponds and depressions ('e' on plan). This is
the site of a building called Chantry House which still
stood in the 19th century (OS 1st ed. 1 in. map, 1835).
(CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 5 (1975), 7; RAF VAP CPE/UK/
1926, 1247–8; air photographs in NMR)
b(4) Settlement Remains (SP 791497; Figs. 69 and 71),
lie around Elms Farm and Hartwell End Farm on a S.E.-facing slope, on Boulder Clay at about 110 m. above OD.
Nothing is known of the history or name of the site; Elms
Farm was formerly known as Tythe Farm (OS 1st ed.
1 in. map, 1835) and the adjacent Hartwell End Farm is
recorded by that name in 1538 (PN Northants., 100).
The main feature of the site is a system of hollow-ways
and tracks, presumably of medieval date. The main track
ran E. from the E. end of the village of Hartwell Green
and then turned S. to a point just N. of Elms Farm. This
part ('a'-'b' on plan) has now been destroyed but it is
shown as a road in 1768 (map in NRO) and indeed is still
marked as a track on modern OS maps. To the S.E. of
Elms Farm ('c' on plan) this road survives as a hollow-way
up to 1.5 m. deep running S.E. in a broad curve. It can be
traced to the S. of Hartwell End Farm at which point it
forks ('d' on plan), one branch continuing E., the other
running S. into the area of the former common fields.
Fig. 70 Hartwell (3) Deserted village of Hartwell at Chapel Farm
A wide L-shaped ditch immediately S.E. of Elms Farm
with part of a ditched enclosure on its S.W. side may be
the remains of a moated site, though later activity has so
damaged the E. side that it is no longer possible to be sure
('e' on plan). In the present arable land to the N. of the
farm, large quantities of medieval pottery have been found.
Most of it is of 13th or 14th-century date, and much is of
a form similar to that produced at Olney Hyde, Buckinghamshire. However the occurrence of several fragments
of kiln debris on this site suggests that at least some of the
pottery was made here. (CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 5
(1975), 7; Northants. Archaeol., 12 (1977), 226; RAF VAP CPE/
Fig. 71 Hartwell (4) Settlement remains at Elms Farm and Hartwell End Farm
a(5) Settlement Remains (centred SP 788501; Figs. 69
and 72), lie along the valley of a small S.W.-flowing stream
immediately S.E. of the present Hartwell village, on Boulder Clay between 110m. and 120 m. above OD. The
earthworks remained until 1976 when all but a small fragment were destroyed by ploughing. The main feature of
the site was a long hollow-way up to 1.5 m. deep, running
N.E.-S.W. At its S.W. end it used to meet the road from
Hartwell Green to Hanslope (Buckinghamshire) but it has
now been blocked by modern buildings. At its N.E. end
it joined another road which formerly ran S.E. from Hartwell to Elms Farm (4). The hollow-way is marked as a
through road on the map of the parish of 1768 (NRO) and
the map also shows at least six buildings along the
hollow-way, probably two farm-houses and two cottages.
By 1835 (1st ed. I in. OS map), although the hollow-way
is still shown as a road, only one of the farmsteads and a
single house or cottage remained ('a' and 'b' on plan). The
cottage survived until recently. On the N.W. side of the
hollow-way the sites and closes of the cottages and one of
the farmsteads ('a' and 'b') were defined by low banks and
scarps until recent destruction. In addition the sites of at
least two other buildings removed before 1768 were identifiable ('c' and 'd'). Since ploughing, large areas of
stone-rubble, brick, tiles and pottery ranging from the
13th century to the 18th century have been noted along
much of the N.W. side of the hollow-way, suggesting that
there was an almost continuous line of houses here. To the
S.E. of the hollow-way is a larger area of earthworks.
Most appear to be relatively modern drainage ditches,
though there is at least one house-site ('e') in addition to
the site of the farmstead which was there in 1768 ('f'). The
arrangement of some of these house-sites, especially those
on the N.W. side of the hollow-way, indicates that they
may have been inserted into pre-existing fields or furlongs.
(CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 5 (1975), 7; (RAF VAP CPE/UK/
1926. 1248–9; air photographs in NMR)
Fig. 72 Hartwell (5) Settlement remains near Hartwell Green
b(6) Deserted Hamlet of Bozenham (SP 768483; Fig.
69), lies immediately N.E. of Bozenham Mill, in an area
of permanent arable, on Boulder Clay at 72 m. above OD.
Large quantities of 13th-century pottery and limestone-rubble associated with slight depressions which are perhaps
former house platforms have been recorded (BNFAS, 3
(1969), 19; CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 5 (1975), 7). Further
S.E., in Buckinghamshire (SP 771481), another area of
13th-century sherds and rubble has been noted. These remains probably represent part of the former hamlet of
Bozenham which is first recorded by name in the mid 12th
century (PN Northants., 100). Both of these scatters of
medieval material lie within the deer park (8) and the site
in Buckinghamshire appears to have been overlaid by
ridge-and-furrow. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1244–5)
b(7) Settlement Remains (SP 778499; Fig. 69), lie immediately N.W. of Park Farm, on Boulder Clay at 100 m.
above OD. No earthworks survive, but air photographs
(RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1246–7) show that there was once
a disturbed area of some 0.75 hectares. Large quantities of
medieval and later pottery have been found in the
plough-soil. The status of the site is not clear. The present
Park Farm is on the site of the 16th-century park lodge
and the remains may represent both this and the medieval
lodge, but it is also possible that there may have been a
small medieval settlement here.
b(8) Deer Park (centred SP 773492; Fig. 69), occupies a
long narrow strip of land covering 130 hectares in the W.
of the parish, mainly on Boulder Clay between 70 m. and
107 m. above OD. A small park of only 25 acres (about
10 hectares) certainly existed in the medieval period (P. A.
J. Pettit, The Royal Forests of Northants. (1968), 14). In 1531
Henry VIII enlarged this park, enclosing a further 232 acres
(about 100 hectares), and built a new lodge which may
have replaced an earlier one (see (7)). In 1699 the park was
officially disparked (Pettit, op. cit., 192; Northants. P. and
P., 5 (1975), 226).
It is not possible to identify the medieval park with
certainty though it may have lain on the S.E. side of a
shallow valley immediately S.W. of Park Farm. A
hollow-way, visible on air photographs but now destroyed, ran from the S. corner of Park Farm curving
gently S.W. and crossing the stream in the valley bottom
at SP 77554966. It then ran N.W. towards Ashton. The
part of the hollow-way E. of the stream may have formed
the S. boundary of the early park and the stream the W.
boundary. The N. edge is impossible to determine but it
may be represented by the hedge which runs S.E. from
the head of the stream towards Park Farm. Within this
area there were three furlongs of ridge-and-furrow of medieval type.
The extent of the later park is well known as it is shown
in detail on a map of Hartwell of 1768 (NRO). Much of
the area was covered by ridge-and-furrow. No substantial
boundaries survive apart from normal hedge-banks. The
S.E. corner of this park extended into Hanslope parish,
Buckinghamshire, (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1245–7)
(9) Cultivation Remains (Fig. 69). The common fields
of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1828.
The medieval arrangement of the common fields must
have been markedly altered when a formerly cultivated
area was enclosed in the 16th century to become a deer
park (8). By 1768 (map in NRO) there were four open
fields. Town, West, Brook and Wallace Fields, between
Hartwell Green and the Buckinghamshire boundary. To
the W. of the fields lay the 16th-century deer park with a
small area of old enclosures beyond, against the Ashton
boundary, and to the E. lay further large areas of old
enclosures which extended as far as the edge of Salcey
Forest. Within the common fields there were two small
areas of old enclosures, one around Chapel Farm (3) and
the other around Stonepit Farm to the E.
Very little ridge-and-furrow survives on the ground
within the parish although much more can be traced from
air photographs. None is visible in the former Town Field
and only small fragments are recoverable in West, Brook
and Wallace Fields. However, extensive areas of interlocked and end-on furlongs can be traced within both the
16th-century and the assumed medieval deer parks, as well
as within the old enclosures along the edge of Saicey Forest, S.E. of Hartwell Green and around Stonepit Farm and
Chapel Farm. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1018–24, 1245–9;
106G/UK/1562, 3084–9, 4083–7; FLS6565, 1005)