Pages 85-86

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 1, Archaeological Sites in North-East Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1975.

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(OS 1:10000 a SP 96 NW, b SP 96 NE, c SP 96 SE)

The long strip-shaped parish, of some 1490 hectares, lies S.E. of the R. Nene which forms its N.W. boundary. It consists of land rising generally to the S.E. between 125 ft. and 325 ft. above OD. Much of the parish is on Boulder Clay but the down-cutting of a small stream which almost bisects the parish has exposed extensive areas of limestone in and around the town of Rushden.

In veiw of the amount of urban development during the last century, which involved considerable disturbance of the ground, very little archaeological material has been discovered. This is probably due to lack of archaeological interest, but more recent work has produced both Roman and Iron Age material (2, 3 and 4).

Prehistoric and Roman

Two bronze axes, one apparently socketed and both now lost, are recorded (Arch. J., CX (1953), 178; J. Coles, Hist. and Ants. of Higham Ferrers, (1838), 218). Several Roman coins have been found in the town: one in 1934 at SP 95096722, two in about 1930 at SP 956680, and others, unlocated, in 1889 (OS Record Cards; T.J. George, Arch. Survey of Northants., (1904), 19).

a(1) Barrows (unlocated but in area SP 9368). One, 'sixtyseventy feet' in diam., was excavated in 1906. It contained a cremation burial with two fragments of 'plain reddish pottery'; flint flakes, scrapers, etc., were found in the make-up of the mound. Two other earthworks, possibly barrows, lay nearby. The area has now been worked for gravel. (J. Northants. Nat. Hist. Soc. and F.C., XIX (1907–8), 13–15)

a(2) Iron Age settlement (SP 943667), S.W. of the town on Boulder Clay at 250 ft. above OD. Digging on a building site has revealed pits and ditches filled with occupation debris, burnt pebbles and sherds of Iron Age 'B' pottery as well as part of a loom-weight. One semicircular ditch was perhaps a hut site. (BNFAS, 7 (1972), 6)

b(3) Roman burial (SP 952676) found 1953 on a building site. An inhumation burial was associated with coins and pottery (OS Record Cards).

c(4) Roman settlement (SP 982633), in the extreme S.E. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 230 ft. above OD. During recent excavations for house foundations, some Roman ditches were noted. (Beds. Arch. J., 7 (1972), 15, Rushden 2)

The Roman kilns usually said to be at Rushden are in fact in the adjacent parish of Irchester.

For reputed Roman Road 570, see p. 116.

Medieval and Later

(5) Cultivation remains. The date of enclosure of the common fields of the parish is not known. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields exists on the ground, or can be traced on air photographs, in much of the parish which is not built over. It is arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs, mainly of reversed-S shape. Some ridges are of exceptional length, being up to 400 m. long (e.g. SP 972668). (RAF VAP CPE/UK 1925, 4250–9; 1994, 2219–23, 3213–4, 4222–9, 4398–404; 540/474, 3018–21, 3038–43)