Pages viii-x

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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In this section


Report to the Queen's Most Excellent 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 thirty-second Report on the work of the Commission since its first appointment.

2. It is with great regret that we have to record the loss in our counsels through death of William Abel Pantin, Esquire, Doctor of Letters, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Fellow of the British Academy.

3. We have to thank Your Majesty for the reappointment to the Commission of Arnold Joseph Taylor, Esquire, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Doctor of Letters, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and of Professor William Francis Grimes, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Doctor of Letters, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, under Your Majesty's Royal Sign Manuals dated 1 February and 25 November 1974 respectively.

4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of archaeological sites in the north-east part of the County of Northampton, an area comprising fifty-seven parishes containing 434 monuments.

5. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of the earthworks in north-east Northamptonshire, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication entitled Northamptonshire I. As in recent Inventories, the Commissioners have adopted the terminal date of 1850 for the monuments included in the Inventory.

6. The method of presentation of material has in general followed that adopted in the previous inventories.

7. The descriptions of the more important monuments have been submitted to specialist authorities. We are satisfied that no significant monument which survived until 1973 has been omitted.

8. Our special thanks are due to owners and occupiers who have allowed access by our staff to the monuments in their charge. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of many Institutions for their ready assistance to us, and particularly to Mr. P. J. King, the Northamptonshire County Archivist. We have to record our indebtedness to the Director-General of the Ordnance Survey for access to his archaeological records, and for valuable work carried out by the field surveyors of his Department. We wish to record our gratitude to Professor J. K. S. St Joseph, Director in Aerial Photography in the University of Cambridge, for permission to use a large number of air photographs, and also to Mr. R. Hollowell and Mr. J. Pickering for supplying other air photographs. We further wish to express our thanks to those persons and organizations who have given particular help to our executive staff during the field investigation; their co-operation is greatly appreciated. They include Mr. A. E. Brown (Department of Adult Education, Leicester University), Dr. G. F. Peterken (Monk's Wood Research Station), Mr. J. A. Hadman and members of the Middle Nene Archaeological Group, Mr. D. A. Jackson, Mr. W. N. Terry and Mr. W. G. Moore (respectively Curator and Archaeological Assistant, Northampton Central Museum and Art Gallery), the Board of Extra-Mural Studies, Cambridge University, and the Department of Extra-Mural Studies, London University.

We gratefully acknowledge permission to reproduce a number of maps and plans belonging to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, The Rt. Hon. the Earl Fitzwilliam, Commander L. M. M. Watson, L. G. Stopford Sackville, Esq., The Earl of Winchelsea's Trustees, The Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, The Peterborough Diocesan Registrar and Warmington Parish Council.

9. As a result of the limitations imposed on us by the continuing need for economy, only one member of our staff has been available to carry out work in the field.

10. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following monuments in north-east Northamptonshire as being specially worthy of preservation:

Roman, prehistoric and undated monuments:


(13) Roman Settlement


(3) Roman Villa


(2)–(4) Roman Settlement


(2) Roman Villa


(1)–(15) Fotheringhay Lodge complex

(21)–(25) Stone Pit Lodge complex


(1)–(5) Harper's Brook complex


(1)–(15) Fotheringhay Lodge complex

(16)–(20) Swan's Nest complex


(13) Roman Villa


(1)–(9) Stone Pit Lodge complex

(10) Roman Settlement


(1)–(3) Tansor Grange complex

Thorpe Achurch

(1) Iron Age Settlement

(2) Iron Age and Roman Settlement


(3) Roman Shrine or Settlement


(1)–(9) Thorpe Station complex

(22) Roman Settlement


(6)–(14) North Warmington complex


(2)–(4) Three Hills Barrows


(3) Roman Building

Medieval and later earthworks:


(22) Garden remains


(6) Site of Benefield Castle


(2) Deserted Village of Kirby


(34) Site of Fotheringhay Castle

(35) Site of Fotheringhay College


(19) Deserted Village of Mallows Cotton


(23) Site of Titchmarsh Castle


(4) Fortified Site and Settlement remains


(4) House-site and Garden remains


(21) Deserted Village of Papley

11. In compiling the foregoing list, our criteria have been the archaeological or historical importance and rarity, not only in the national but in the local field, and the degree of loss to the nation that would result from destruction. The list is based on academic considerations and does not take into account the problems of preservation.

However, destruction of field monuments continues to be rapid and widespread, and the increasing rarity of these monuments makes it desirable that as many as possible of those listed in the Inventory should be preserved. Also, the extent and impressiveness of surface remains are not the only indication of archaeological importance; their significance can often only be appreciated after excavation. Destruction should therefore not be permitted before archaeological investigation has taken place.

12. We desire to express our acknowledgement of the good work accomplished by our executive staff in the production of this volume. The fieldwork and preparation of the Inventory has been carried out by Mr. C. C. Taylor. It has been edited by Mr. S. D. T. Spittle with the assistance of Mr. C. A. Hartridge.

The illustrations have been drawn by Mr. P. N. Hammond and Mr. R. E. Beeton; Messrs. W. C. Light, D. Evans, J. Parkinson, have been responsible for the ground photographs, and Mr. J. Hampton for much of the aerial photography.

13. We desire to add that our Secretary and General Editor, Mr. R. W. McDowall, has afforded us constant assistance.

14. The next Inventory in the Northamptonshire series will record earthworks in the central part of that county.


Adeane (Chairman)

John Chandos-Pole

H. C. Darby

C. A. Ralegh Radford

John Summerson

H. M. Colvin

A. J. Taylor

W. F. Grimes

M. W. Barley

Sheppard Frere

R. J. C. Atkinson

John Betjeman

J. N. L. Myres

H. M. Taylor

G. Zarnecki

J. K. S. St. Joseph

R. W. McDowall (Secretary)