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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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In this section


(OS 1:10000 SP 79 SE)

The small, rectangular parish, of only just over 400 hectares, lies S. of the R. Welland which forms its N.E. and N.W. boundaries. It occupies land sloping sleeply to the river between 63 m. and 130 m. above OD. The higher S. and S.W. parts are on Boulder Clay, but elsewhere Lias Clays are exposed.

Medieval and Later

(1) Site of Manor House (SP 77809146), in the centre of the village, on gravel at 70 m. above OD. At the S. end of the field known locally as Hall Close is a series of low earthworks of no overall coherent form, although at least two rectangular sunken platforms, probably former building sites, are visible. The remains are bounded on the N. by a shallow ditch up to 5 m. wide. The site is traditionally the remains of a manor house (J. Bridges, Hist. of Northants., II (1791), 359). It was devoid of all buildings in 1802 (NRO, Enclosure Map).

(2) Cultivation Remains (Plate 29). The common fields of the parish, together with those of Sutton Bassett, were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1802 (NRO, Enclosure Map of Sutton Bassett and Weston-by-Welland). Immediately before enclosure there were four open fields, Round Hill, Little, Long Dale and Side Holm, with meadows along parts of the R. Welland. Some of the furlongs in the S. of the parish cross the present parish boundary with Sutton Bassett (e.g. at SP 767909). This, and the facts that the westernmost field of each parish is called Side Holm Field, and that the parishes were enclosed at the same time, suggests that the common fields of the two were once connected.

Ridge-and-furrow of these fields is particularly well preserved and can be traced on the ground or from air photographs over almost the entire parish. It is arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs, usually at right-angles to the contours. It is particularly fine on Round Hill (SP 773922) where the ridges radiate from the prominent summit. Within the former Long Dale Field (around SP 782904), at the head of a steep-sided combe, there is an unusual pattern of ridge-and-furrow, mainly in interlocked furlongs (Plate 29). The heavy Lias Clay of the valley sides has slipped at some time in the medieval period. Two separate phases of movement can be identified. On the S.W. side of the combe (at SP 781904) large blocks of the hillside have moved down the slope, forming irregular terraces. This movement had taken place before the ridge-and-furrow was formed, for at one point the terrace has been used as an exceptionally wide headland between two end-on furlongs, and at another the terrace has been ploughed over in ridge-and-furrow. On the S.E. side of the combe (at SP 783903) the movement of the valley sides has taken place later than the last ploughing of the ridge-and-furrow and this has resulted in the ridges being twisted and distorted, thus forming a feature usually known as 'ruffled rig'. In the former Side Holm Field (centred SP 772913) there is an unusual pattern of short headlands. They lie between end-on furlongs, but owing to the broken ground the furlongs themselves are partly interlocked, producing a complex arrangement of ridges (RAF VAP CPE/UK/ 1925, 3182–4; 541/143, 3066–7).