Pages 134-136

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 a SP 98 NW, b SP 88 NE)

The parish is roughly triangular, covering 645 hectares, immediately S.E. of Corby. It is almost entirely on Boulder Clay, between 60 m. and 100 m. above OD, except where the E.-flowing Harper's Brook, which bisects the parish, has exposed limestones, silts and sands along its valley sides. Many Roman settlements have been recorded. Of special interest are those which have been discovered in the S. of the parish (2–7), on land which, until the 18th century, was part of Geddington Chase. This is an area of old forest which is often said to have been part of the primary woodland of the region. Further Roman remains are known from the extensive ironstone quarries N. of the village. The medieval kilns (10) in the village itself appear to have been part of an extensive pottery industry previously thought to have been situated only at Lyveden to the E. (see RCHM Northants., I (1975), Pilton (6)).


OS 1:10000 maps mark 'Roman Coins Found 1840' at SP 92838689, and 'Roman Remains Found 1840' at SP 92478685, but no other records exist of these discoveries. There are also 18th-century records of large numbers of Roman coins found in 'Stanion Field, betwixt the Town and the Wood' (J. Morton, Nat. Hist. of Northants., (1712), 532; Surtees Soc., 80 (1885), 167).

a(1) Roman Buildings (?) (perhaps SP 915868), near Willow Lane. 'In Willow Spring Close, near the village, were found some Roman Pavements some years since' (Whellan, Dir., 809).

a(2) Roman Settlement (SP 90468542), in the S.W. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 84 m. above OD. Much 2nd and 3rd-century pottery and a 'circle of stones' were found in 1950 and 1966 (OS Record Cards).

a(3) Roman Settlement (centred SP 910854), 500 m. E. of (2), on Boulder Clay at 99 m. above OD. Large quantities of Roman pottery, including samian, tiles, limestone rubble and human bones have been found over an area of 1.5 hectares. A small excavation led to the discovery of 2nd-century foundations of timber and stone (BNFAS, 3 (1969), 17; 4 (1970), 62; OS Record Cards).

a(4) Roman Settlement (SP 91298574), 500 m. N.E. of (3), on Boulder Clay at 94 m. above OD. Large quantities of Roman pottery, brick and tile were found in 1965 (OS Record Cards).

a(5) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 916857), 300 m. E. of (4), in a similar position at 84 m. above OD. Roman pottery, including samian, has been found (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 62).

a(6) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 92638611), in the S.E. of the parish, on Boulder Clay at 79 m. above OD. Roman pottery of the 2nd to 4th centuries and iron slag have been found (OS Record Cards; BNFAS, 4 (1970), 62).

a(7) Roman Settlement (SP 921865), 600 m. N.W. of (6), in a similar position. Roman pottery, tiles and building-stone have been found over an area of about 0.5 hectares (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 62).

a(8) Roman Settlement (SP 925873), N.E. of the village, in an area of ironstone quarries. Two querns and a considerable amount of Roman pottery were found between 1951 and 1954 (Northants. Archit. and Arch. Soc. Reps., 57 (1951), 9; 58 (1952), 9; 60 (1954), 13; local inf.).

For Roman Road 57a, see p. 186.

Medieval and Later

a(9) Saxon Settlement (?) (SP 925873), on the same site as (8). Pottery, said to be Saxon, was recovered in 1953 (Northants. Archit. and Arch. Soc. Reps., 58 (1952), 12).

a(10) Medieval Kilns (centred SP 915870), within Stanion village. There is evidence of a medieval pottery industry in Stanion, though few details of it are known. The kilns appear to have been producing pottery of a type similar to Lyveden ware and probably of the same date. The known sites include:

(a) at SP 91508701, a kiln and large quantities of pottery discovered in the garden of the Manor House when a sewer trench was being dug in 1961;

(b) at SP 91448700, a kiln containing complete pots, found during building work in 1939;

(c) at SP 914871, a stone-lined kiln, excavated in 1972. It was found to contain pottery, wasters, glazed and crested ridge tiles and flat roof tiles. In the surrounding area many wasters of crude coil—made jugs were discovered;

Fig. 120 Stanion (11) Moat and enclosures, Weekley (11) Rides, Roman Road 57a

(d) at SP 91468656, medieval pottery found in 1969; (e) at SP 914870, large quantities of medieval pottery found in 1969 (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 21–2; Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 110; 10 (1975), 170–1; Med. Arch., 17 (1973), 185; OS Record Cards; NM; KM).

a(11) Moat and Enclosures (SP 92358630; Fig. 120), on the S. side of the valley of the Harper's Brook, on Boulder Clay at 84 m. above OD. The area has been under cultivation for many years and all the earthworks have now been destroyed, but on air photographs (CUAP, BHO 43; RAF VAP F21 58/RAF/1210, 0018–9) taken before the destruction a rectangular area 45 m. by 50 m., entirely surrounded by a ditch up to 5 m. wide, is clearly visible. There are traces of an internal bank on the W. and N. sides. No other interior features or entrance causeways are visible. In the surrounding area the air photographs also show traces of incomplete ditched or embanked enclosures, though none is actually attached to the moat. Some extend S. into Brigstock parish. They are probably old field boundaries. Two of the rides of Boughton Park (Weekley (11) visible as ditched trackways, and the Roman Road 57a, also cross the area from S.W. to N.E.

(12) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1795 (NRO, Maps of Stanion, 1799 and c. 1805).

Fig. 121 Stoke Albany (1) Site of watermill

A number of maps of Stanion survive and these show stages in the arrangement of the open fields in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1635 (Map at Deene, copy in NRO) there were at least four open fields, Upper, West, Nether and North Fields. North Field was split into two parts, to the N.W. and S.E. of the village. There was also, in the N., a field called Conygrey Field, but it is not clear from the map whether it had been enclosed by that date. At that time a wide strip of land along the S. boundary of the modern parish was not in Stanion but was marked on the map as part of Rockingham Forest. By 1730 (Map at Deene, copy in NRO) much of the woodland in the N. of the parish had been cleared. The Nether Field of 1635 had become East Field and had been partly enclosed (around SP 903869). The whole of the former West Field was enclosed, but the two parts of North Field remained open. The former Upper Field had now become known as West Field. Conygrey Field had also been enclosed as two large fields by this date. In 1740 (Map at Deene, copy in NRO) the East, West, and North Fields of 1730 still remained.

Ridge-and-furrow of these fields survives in very few places. Three furlongs along the Harper's Brook can be traced, Hawks Corner (SP 910861), Paddock Leys (SP 914864) and Willow Lane Close (SP 916867). The latter was already enclosed in 1635. These all run at right-angles to the contours. A few fragments also survive in Upper Field (RAF VAP F22 58/RAF/2168, 0008–12; 541/602, 3097–3102; 541/612, 4047–62, 3057–63; F21 58/RAF/1210, 0018–20; F21 540/ RAF/1312, 0108–0113; F22 540/RAF/1312, 0107– 0111; F21 82/RAF/865, 0245–8).