BHO

Old

Page 116

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 2, Archaeological Sites in Central Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1979.

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44 OLD

(OS 1:10000 a SP 77 NE, b SP 77 SE, c SP 87 NW, d SP 87 SW)

The narrow, almost rectangular parish, covering some 810 hectares, occupies a spur of land between two S.S.W.-flowing streams and is now bounded on the S. by the Pitsford Reservoir at 91 m. above OD. Much of it, between 114 m. and 142 m. above OD, is covered by glacial deposits. These include Boulder Clay in the N. and E., and smaller areas of glacial sands and gravels around the village and in the E. on the higher slopes of the valley sides. On the lower slopes of these valleys Northampton Sand and Upper Lias Clay are exposed.

Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval

A flint core and scraper and Roman and medieval pottery have been found in the parish, at two places N. of the village (SP 788745 and 790744; BNFAS, 5 (1971), 24).

Medieval and Later

b(1) Settlement Remains (SP 784733; Plate 12), formerly part of Old, lay immediately N.W. of the village on a steep valley side, on clay, sand and gravel between 107 m. and 114 m. above OD. Most of the site has been completely destroyed by houses and a playing field in recent years. Before destruction the remains consisted of a broad hollow-way, running N. in a sweeping curve from an existing lane in the village towards the stream. On either side of this hollow-way were several embanked closes, presumably the sites of former houses and gardens. To the E. of the hollow-way was a large, deep, roughly rectangular pond, with a massive bank or dam at its lower, N. end. S.E. of this pond were other embanked closes and hollow-ways which are not clearly visible on available air photographs. S.W. of the main hollow-way is a series of ill-defined paddocks, bounded by shallow ditches and low banks, which still exist but are much damaged by old quarry pits. Elsewhere in and around the village are other traces of former house-sites and paddocks (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1925, 2223–5, 2368–9; CUAP, AWV 7–10).

b(2) Windmill Mound (SP 78897285), S.E. of the village alongside the Walgrave road, on Boulder Clay at 122 m. above OD. It is about 12 m. in diam., 1 m. high (CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 6 (1976), 29).

(3) Cultivation Remains (Fig. 109). The common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1767 (NRO, Enclosure Map, 1768). Ridge-and-furrow of these fields, visible on the ground or from air photographs, is exceptionally complete, covering all but a few of the modern fields. N. of the village, where the contours run roughly N.—S., the ridge-and-furrow crosses the land in striking sweeps of end-on furlongs, at right-angles to the slope, and is thus orientated S.W.—N.E. in the extreme N., swinging round to a N.W.—S.E. direction immediately N. of the village. This consistent arrangement of end-on furlongs continues in the neighbouring parishes of Walgrave and Hannington. Around and to the S. of the village the ground is more broken and this has resulted in a pattern of interlocked furlongs, some of marked reversed-S form, in general running at right-angles to the contours (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1925, 3367–71, 2365–70, 2223– 7, 4363–8, 3223–8, 1223–7, 4224–5; F21 540/RAF/ 1312, 0218–22; F22 540/RAF/1312, 0217–21, 0154– 8; F22 542/RAF/97, 0027–31).