Pages xxi-xxiii

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


Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty

May It Please Your 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 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-sixth Report on the work of the Commission since its first appointment.

2. With regret we have have to record the retirement from the Commision upon expiry of term of office of Sir John Betjeman, Knight, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Howard Montagu Colvin, Esquire, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, and Doctor Courtenay Arthur Ralegh Radford, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

3. We thank Your Majesty for the appointment to the Commission of Professor Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Professor Andrew Colin Renfrew, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Doctor Irene Joan Thirsk, Fellow of the British Academy.

4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of archaeological sites in the central part of the County of Northampton, an area comprising sixty-seven parishes containing 778 monuments.

5. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of these monuments, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication entitled Northamptonshire II. 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 description of the more important monuments have been submitted to specialist authorities. We are satisfied that no significant monument which survived until 1975 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 in particular to Mr. P.I. 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), Mr. G.R. Foard, Mr. D.N.Hall, Mr. D.A.Jackson, Mr. W.N. Terry and Mr. W.R.G.Moore (respectively Curator and Keeper of Archaeology, Northampton Central Museum and Art Gallery), the Board of ExtraMural 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 Most Honourable the Marquess of Northampton, the Right Honourable the Earl Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Winchelsea's Trustees, the Peterborough Diocesan Registrar, the Public Record Office and the Northamptonshire Record Society.

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

10. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following monuments in central Northamptonshire as being most worthy of preservation:

Roman, prehistoric and undated monuments:


(1) Iron Age Settlement and Roman Villa


(5) Roman Villa


(7) Cropmarks and Roman Settlement


(5)–(12) North Ecton complex

(17) Roman Settlement

(18) Roman Settlement


(2) Cropmarks

(7) Cropmarks


(7) Iron Age and Roman Settlement


(9)–(15) East Houghton complex

(16)–(21) South Houghton complex


(7) Roman Town


(6) Iron Age and Roman Settlement


(2) Roman Villa

(3) Cropmarks

(12) Roman Settlement

(21) Cropmarks

Medieval and later earthworks


(1) Site of Braybrooke Castle

(2) Settlement remains


(14) Mound and Ditch

(16) Deserted Hamlet of Thorpe


(7) Site of Manor House

(10) Garden remains


(16) Deserted Village of Preston Deanery

(18) Deserted Village of Horton


(5) House and Garden remains

(6) Fishponds


(29) Motte


(14) Site of Barton Seagrave Castle


(6) Deserted Village


(8) Settlement remains


(1) Site of Watermill

(2) Fishponds


(7) Settlement remains

(8) Site of Manor House


(7) Settlement remains


(8) Deserted village of Boughton

(11) Garden remains

11. In compiling the foregoing list, our criteria have been 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 indications of archaeological importance; their significance can often only be appreciated after excavation. Destruction should therefore not be permitted before arcaeological 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, particularly by Mr. C.C. Taylor and Miss F.M. Crowther who carried out the fieldwork and the preparation of the Inventory, by the editor Mr. S.D.T. Spittle, by Dr. B.E.A. Jones who carried out research in the Public Record Office, by our illustrators Mr. P.N. Hammond and Mr. R.E. Beeton, and by our photographers Mr. R.E.W. Parsons, Mr. J.Parkinson and Mr. H. Marsden. We are also grateful for the work done by our chief photographer Mr. W.C. Light, and by Mr. J.N. Hampton who assisted with 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 north-western part of that county.


Adeane (Chairman)

John Chandos-Pole

H.C. Darby

A.J. Taylor

W.F. Grimes

S.S. Frere

R.J.C. Atkinson

H.M. Taylor

G. Zarnecki

J.K.S. St Joseph

Paul Ashbee

A.R. Dufty

Mark Girouard

C.N.L. Brooke

Colin Renfrew

Joan Thirsk

R.W.McDowall (Secretary)