Milton Malsor

Page 102

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 4, Archaeological Sites in South-West Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1982.

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(OS 1:10000 a SP 75 NW, b SP 75 SW, c SP 75 NE, d SP 75 SE)

The modern parish is roughly rectangular, covering only about 450 hectares. The N. part of the medieval parish N.E. of the M1 motorway is now incorporated within Northampton. The area is rather flat, sloping gently N. from 100 m. to 70 m. above OD and much of it is covered by glacial sands and gravels and Boulder Clay, apart from an expanse of Upper Lias Clay in the S. and bands of Marlstone Rock and clays and silts in the valleys W. and N. of the village. A number of finds of the prehistoric, Roman and Saxon periods have come from sand pits to the S. and W. of the village. Some of the latter may relate to the undated enclosure to the N.W. (Rothersthorpe (1)).

Prehistoric and Roman

A polished stone axe of quartz dolerite has been found in the parish and some sherds of early Iron Age pottery were discovered during sand-extraction in 1975 at SP 728560 (NM Records).

a(1) Bronze Age Burial (SP 72755625), discovered in a sand-pit in the W. of the parish, at 83 m. above OD. A Collared Urn of the Primary Series, with Beaker-type decoration was discovered in 1965; it contained a cremation (Ant. J., 47 (1967), 198–208; OS Record Cards).

a(2) Roman Settlement (?) and Burials (SP 727557), found during sand-extraction in 1953. Roman pottery, a quern and human skeletons are recorded (OS Record Cards; NM Records).

a(3) Roman Settlement (?) and Kiln (SP 731552), lies S.W. of the village at 80 m. above OD. Roman pottery and fragments of kiln bars were found in a sand-pit in 1947, together with the Saxon finds listed below (6) (NM Records; OS Record Cards).

a(4) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 738556), lies on the E. side of the village at about 78 m. above OD. Rubbish pits revealed during sand-working contained Roman sherds and spindle whorls, as well as the Saxon finds listed below (5) (NM Records; OS Record Cards).

Medieval and Later

a(5) Saxon Settlement (?) (SP 738556), lies on the same site as the possible Roman settlement (4), 120 m. E. of the medieval church, but outside the boundary of the old enclosures of the village as shown on a map of 1780 (NRO). Saxon sherds and loom-weights were discovered here during sand-excavation in 1964 (NM Records; OS Record Cards).

a(6) Saxon Cemetery (SP 731552), on the same site as the Roman material (3). Two vessels were discovered, one a footed Buckelurne and the other a bowl, both of 4th or 5th-century types (NM Records; J. Northants. Mus. and Art Gall., 6 (1969), 47; Meaney, Gazetteer, 192; J.N.L. Myres, A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Pottery of the Pagan Period (1977), Nos. 807, 808).

a(7) Closes, Moat and Pond (SP 735554), lie immediately N. and N.E. of the manor house, on gravel at 79 m. above OD. A small pasture field sloping E. to a stream has a number of scarps and shallow ditches within it, perhaps the boundaries of former closes. At the E. end, near the stream, is a rectangular embanked pond. A flat island, 40 m. square, surrounded by a broad ditch 10 m. wide and 1.5 m. deep, at the N. edge of the site, may be a moat. The remains are perhaps associated with the adjacent manor house. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 5027–9; FSL6565, 1798–1800; air photographs in NMR)

(8) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of 1799. Before that there were no definite boundaries between Collingtree and Milton Malsor (NRO, Enclosure Map, 1780; B. E. Evans, The Story of Milton Malsor (c. 1925), 158–9, 181). Ridge-and-furrow of these fields is visible on the ground or on air photographs over most of the medieval parish, particularly over the clay area in the S. and the N. part of the parish which is now in Northampton. Little survives in the W. It is all arranged in end-on and interlocked furlongs. In the N.E. several well-marked headlands are visible between end-on blocks of ridges (e.g. SP 741567 and 742563). Only a small area around the village appears to have been in old enclosures before 1780. No ridge-and-furrow can be traced within these limits. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 3027–30, 5026–30; 3G TUD/UK/118, 6026–7, 6055–8; F22 543/RAF/2409, 0142–4; FSL6565, 1798– 1800, 1824–8)