(OS 1:10000 a SP 65 NW, b SP 65 SW)
The roughly triangular parish, covering some 675
hectares, is bounded on the N. by an E.-flowing
tributary of the R. Nene and on the S.W. by a stream
flowing S.E. towards the R. Tove. Much of the
higher ground in the S., above 145 m. above OD,
is covered by Boulder Clay. From there the land
slopes N. across Northampton Sand, Upper Lias
Clay and Marlstone Rock to the stream at 100 m.
above OD. Clay and sandstones are also exposed
along the valley in the S.W. No prehistoric or
Roman material has been found in the parish.
Medieval and Later
b(1) Manor House Site (SP 633542), lies immediately S.
of the church, on Northampton Sand at 146 m. above
OD. Baker (Hist. of Northants., I (1822–30), 407) said that
the medieval manor house 'stood in the inclosure called
The Spinney and was taken down about fifty years ago'.
On the Tithe Map of 1843 (NRO) the large paddock S. of
the church is called The Spinney. The most prominent
earthworks in the area are a group of large stone-pits on
the N. side but these have cut through and partly destroyed
a number of low banks of which fragments still survive to
the S. and S.W. of the quarries. It would appear that the
quarries were dug into the site of the manor house itself,
perhaps for the foundation stones. In the 19th century the
area was turned into a small deer park belonging to Litchborough House and was bounded by a continuous stone
wall which still exists. Earthworks to the S. of the quarry
may relate to this period. They include at least three shallow rectangular ponds and a rectangular enclosure 50 m.
by 25 m. bounded by a low bank and ditch, as well as
other shallow quarries, all cut into earlier slight ridge-and-furrow. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 5044–5; air photographs in NMR)
b(2) Settlement Remains (SP 631542), formerly part of
Litchborough, lie on the S. side of the main street, W. of
the church, on Northampton Sand at 144 m. above OD.
The village now consists of little more than a single street
running N.E.-S.W. with a small green near the church and
houses on both sides, except on the high bank S. of Litchborough House where there are fragmentary remains of
house-sites. On the Tithe Map of 1843 (NRO) no houses
are shown here except for three buildings at the N.E. end
near the church. These have now gone. The street has been
realigned at this point, presumably to enlarge the grounds
of Litchborough House, and some of the earthworks have
been cut away. This took place after 1843. (RAF VAP CPE/
b(3) Ponds (SP 636536), lie S.E. of the village, on the N.
side of the road to Cold Higham, on Boulder Clay at
162 m. above OD. The site consists of a rectangular pond
with, immediately to the E., a square flat island, 20 m. by
15 m., completely surrounded by a broad water-filled
ditch between 5 m. and 12 m. wide. On the Tithe Map of
1843 (NRO) neither feature is depicted, though the paddock in which they lie is called Windmill Pool. It is possible
that the moated feature is the site of a former windmill.
Some unglazed sherds, presumably medieval or later, were
found recently in the centre of the island (NM Records).
b(4) Pond (SP 631547), lies in the valley of a small
N.E.-flowing stream immediately N. of the village, on
Upper Lias Clay at 122 m. above OD. The roughly rectangular water-filled pond 60 m. by 40 m. has a U-shaped
island in the centre. No date or purpose can be assigned
to it, though it is perhaps 18th or 19th-century in origin.
It is not shown on the Tithe Map of 1843 (NRO) but is
on a slightly earlier map (OS 1st ed. 1 in. map, 1834). In
1843 the area was called Paradise.
(5) Cultivation Remains. In the early 17th century
there were three open fields in the parish known as Radmore, Windmill and High Cross Fields, together with an
area of woodland called The Heath. Radmore Field, which
occupied the E. part of the parish, was enclosed by private
agreement in 1647 and all the rest, including The Heath,
by another agreement in 1711 (G. Baker, Hist. of Northants., I (1822–30), 404).
Ridge-and-furrow of these fields exists on the ground
or can be traced on air photographs over large areas of the
parish and especially in the S.W. where almost the complete layout is recoverable. It is arranged in end-on and
interlocked furlongs, many of reversed-S form and some
up to 400 m. in length. There is evidence of the joining
together of former end-on furlongs in a number of places,
notably to the N.E. of the village, S. of the Bugbrooke
Road (SP 642548), where the ridges are twisted at a sharp
angle as they pass over a former headland between two
furlongs. Several hollowed access-ways or lanes passing
between furlongs survive or can be seen on air photographs, especially W. and S.W. of the village (SP 628541,
626539 and 626536). (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 4043–9, 5041–
8; CPE/UK/1994, 4167–70)