40 MIDDLETON CHENEY
(OS 1:10000 a SP 44 SE, b SP 54 SW, c SP 43 NE,
d SP 53 NW)
Fig. 86 Middleton Cheney (1) Enclosures
The parish, lying against the Oxfordshire county
boundary, is of irregular shape and covers almost
1000 hectares. The rolling landscape, entirely on Lias
clays and Marlstone Rock between 100 m. and
160 m. above OD, is made up of three ridges between the valleys of two small S.-flowing streams.
The modern parish includes the village and lands of
Overthorpe, formerly part of Warkworth parish, and
the village of Middleton Cheney is in two distinct
parts each lying at the head of a small valley. Apart
from the prehistoric or Roman enclosures (1) little
of archaeological importance has been recorded in
Prehistoric and Roman
a(1) Enclosures (SP 49454215; Fig. 86), W. of Middleton
Cheney village, on Middle Lias clays and silts at 142 m.
above OD. Air photographs (CUAP, ABW 87, 88) show
cropmarks of a group of overlapping, sub-rectangular enclosures and ditches covering a total area of about 2
b(2) Prehistoric Settlement (SP 522406), in the extreme
S.E. of the parish, on limestone at 107 m. above OD. A
dense scatter of worked flints of late Neolithic and Bronze
Age type covers an area of about 5 hectares. Part of a
polished flint axe and a flint arrowhead have also been
found (inf. D. J. Barratt).
b(3) Roman Settlement (SP 517404), in the S.E. of the
parish, on limestone at 122 m. above OD. Roman pottery
has been found over an area of about 3 hectares (inf. D. J.
Medieval and Later
(4) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of Middleton Cheney were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of
1769. On the Enclosure Map of about 1770 (NRO) most
of the land attributable to the village of Middleton is shown
as being under common fields. The furlongs and accessways depicted on it agree exactly with the ridge-and-fur-row which still exists or can be traced on air photographs.
Large areas of ridge-and-furrow can be recovered,
arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs except along
the steep-sided S.-draining valleys where it lies at right
angles to the contours. There is a good example of two
former end-on furlongs being ploughed as one, with the
ridges riding over the earlier headland (SP 510417).
The common fields of the hamlet of Overthorpe, which
occupied the W. part of the present parish, were enclosed
together with those of Warkworth by an Act of Parliament
of 1764 (G. Baker, Hist. of Northants., I (1822–30), 738).
Ridge-and-furrow of these fields survives on the ground
or can be traced on air photographs only on the low clay
area around and N. of the hamlet where it is arranged in
end-on and interlocked furlongs. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926,
1205–11, 3205–11, 5211; F21 58/RAF/1567, 0050–1, 0081–2;
F22 58/RAF/1567, 0050–1)