ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL
MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND
Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
May it Please Your Majesty
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and
Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary
culture, civilisation and conditions of life of the people of England from the earliest times to the year
1714, and such further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our
discretion to be worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of
preservation, do humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report, being the Forty-first
Report on the work of the Royal Commission since its first appointment.
2. With regret we record the retirement from the Royal Commission upon expiry of term of
office of Professor Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow
of the Society of Antiquaries, and of Professor George Zarnecki, Commander of the Order of the
British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
3. We thank Your Majesty for the appointment to the Royal Commission of Professor Martin
Biddle, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Professor Peter Erik Lasko, Commander of the
Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries;
also for the re-appointment of Dr. Peter Kidson, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Professor
Andrew Colin Renfrew, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and
Dr. Irene Joan Thirsk, Fellow of the British Academy.
4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of the archaeological sites and
churches within the Borough of Northampton, an area containing 206 monuments.
5. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of these monuments,
which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication entitled Northamptonshire V.
6. The method by which the material is presented differs from that adopted for the first four
volumes in the series. It was felt that the analysis of the growth of Northampton should be available
to as wide a public as possible yet increases in production costs meant that an Inventory published
conventionally would have been expensive. The Inventory of finds and monuments in each parish
is therefore presented in micro-fiche in the back of the book. The introduction, which traces the
origins and growth of settlement within the area and sets the individual sites in a wider context, is
published here in the usual way, together with plates and line-drawings; it also contains a guide to
the material contained in the micro-fiche and an index to the micro-fiche. Print-outs of sections of
the fiche can be provided if so required.
7. Within the Inventory the method of presentation of material has in general followed that
adopted in the previous Inventories. The analysis of the development of Northampton, however,
has demanded the inclusion of sites of religious institutions and made it impossible to exclude those
which survive, namely the churches of Northampton and the surrounding parishes. These churches
are therefore described in the Inventory.
8. The descriptions of the more important monuments have been submitted to specialist
authorities. We are satisfied that no significant monument which survived until 1981 has been
9. Our special thanks are due to owners and occupiers who have allowed access to the monuments
in their charge. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of many Institutions for their ready
assistance to us and in particular to Mr. P.I. King, the Northamptonshire County Archivist; to Mr.
W.N. Terry, Curator of Northampton Museums and Art Gallery for access to collections and
records; to the Director-General of the Ordnance Survey for access to the archaeological records of
his department; to Mr. D.R. Wilson, Curator of Aerial Photography in the University of
Cambridge, for access to air photographs and also to Mr. R. Hollowell, Mr. J. Pickering, Mr. D.E.
Cowley and Mr. G.R. Foard for supplying other air photographs. We further wish to express our
thanks to those persons and organisations who have given particular help to our executive staff
during the field investigation and later; their co-operation is greatly appreciated. They include Mr.
A.E. Brown, Mr. G.R. Foard, Mr. V.A. Hatley, and Mr. W.R.G. Moore.
We gratefully record permission to reproduce illustrative material belonging to Browne and
Wells of Northampton; we are also grateful to Northamptonshire Libraries for supplying reprints
from which other illustrations have been derived.
10. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following monuments in Northampton
as being especially worthy of preservation:
Roman, prehistoric and undated monuments
(1–4) Dallington Heath Complex
(14) Hunsbury Hill Fort
Medieval religious institutions
(3) Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
(14) Parish Church of St. Andrew
(6) Parish Church of All Saints
(1) Parish Church of St. Columba
(7) Parish Church of St. Mary
(6) Parish Church of St. Luke
(20) Parish Church of St. Edmund
(9) Parish Church of St. Mary
(7) Parish Church of St. John the Baptist
(20) Former Hospital of St. John
(21) Parish Church of All Saints
(22) Parish Church of the Holy Sepulchre
(23) Parish Church of St. Giles
(24) Parish Church of St. Peter
(27) Site of the former parish church of
(4) Church of St. Michael
(7) Parish Church of St. Peter
(10) Parish Church of St. George
Medieval and later earthworks
(6) Deserted village of Abington
(6) Deserted village of Upton
11. The foregoing list is extremely short and indicates only the reasonably well-preserved
upstanding monuments. However, the great bulk of the archaeological material relating to
Northampton lies buried beneath the existing and continually expanding built-up areas. The value
of this material has been revealed by the inevitably limited excavations which have been carried out
within the borough during the last few years and it is essential that such excavations should
continue whenever redevelopment or new construction take place, particularly within the Saxon
12. We desire to express our acknowledgement of the good work accomplished by our executive
staff in the production of this Inventory, particularly by Mr. C.C. Taylor who carried out much of
the fieldwork, by Mrs. F.M. Brown for much preliminary work, by Mr. D.A.H. Richmond for
preparing part of the introductory essay and by Mr. D.A.H. Richmond and Dr. T. Cocke for the
recording of the churches, by Dr. M. Franklin for documentary research, and by our Illustrators
Mr. A. Donald, Mr. P.N. Hammond and Mr. B. Thomason. The photography was undertaken by
Mr. R. Braybrook and Mr. S. W. Cole. The editorial work and book production have been carried
out by Mrs. S. E. Ault.
13. We would also desire to record our gratitude for the work of the staff of the Northampton
Development Corporation Archaeological Unit in the production of the Inventory. In particular we
wish to thank Mr. J.H. Williams, Dr. H. Bamford and Mr. M. Shaw for preparing the
introductory essay, Mr. J.H. Williams, Mr. M. Shaw and Mrs. F. Williams for compiling the
Inventory, Miss M. Gryspeerdt and Dr. H. Bamford for examining unpublished collections of
finds and Mr. K. Connor for the preparation of illustrative material.
14. We further wish to acknowledge the ready co-operation of HMSO in the production of this
15. We desire to add that our Secretary and General Editor, Dr. P.J. Fowler, has afforded us
16. The next Inventory of the Northamptonshire series will record buildings in the northern part of
17. With deep regret we have to record the sudden death on 30th April 1984 of our Chairman, the
Right Honourable the Lord Adeane of Stamfordham in the County of Northumberland, P.C.,
G.C.B., G.C.V.O. Lord Adeane was a sympathetic Chairman and kind colleague who was always
active on behalf of the Royal Commission. The staff of the Royal Commission join with us in
expressing gratitude for his guidance and sorrow at his death.
P.J. Fowler (Secretary)