Thorpe Malsor

Pages 145-146

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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(OS 1:10000 SP 87 NW)

The parish is small, covering only 370 hectares, and lies immediately W. of Kettering. It is bounded on all sides but the W. by small streams draining E. and S.E. to the R. Ise. The higher, central part of the parish is on Northampton Sand between 91 m. and 122 m. above OD, while the adjacent valleys are cut into the underlying Upper Lias Clay. Little of note is recorded from the parish.


A perforated, polished stone axe-hammer was found in the village in about 1923 (JBAA, 29 (1923), 152–3; lost).

Medieval and Later

(1) Anglo-Saxon Cemetery (SP 832789), immediately S.W. of the village, on Northampton Sand at 115 m. above OD. A small urn was discovered during ironstone-mining in 1910. Later, and probably from the same site, two swastika brooches, wrist clasps, two spearheads of Swanton's H2 type, part of a sword and at least two skeletons were found (Meaney, Gazetteer, 196; BAR, 7 (1974), 87; KM).

(2) Settlement Remains (centred SP 835789), formerly part of Thorpe Malsor, lie on the S. side of the main street of the village and just within the boundary of Thorpe Malsor Park. A line of indeterminate earthworks within woodland suggests that there were once houses on both sides of the street. Those on the S. may have been removed when the park was made, though the date of this is unknown.

(3) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1777 (NRO, Tithe Map, 1842). Very little of the ridgeand-furrow of these fields exists on the ground or can be traced from air photographs. The surviving fragments are mainly along the streams which form the N. and S. boundaries of the parish where they are orientated at right-angles to the contours (RAF VAP 541/602, 4189– 92; 541/612, 3001–2, 4001–3; F21 540/RAF/1312, 0137–41; F22 540/RAF/1312, 0137–41; F21 82/RAF/ 865, 0410–5; F22 82/RAF/865, 0319–22).