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 65 NE, b SP 65 SE)
The parish covers 1147 hectares and lies mainly E. of Watling Street (A5) which marks part of the W. boundary, though one small area extends W. across the Roman road. The land slopes generally N. and is drained by several small tributaries of the R. Nene, one of which forms the E. boundary. The N.-S. ridges between the streams are of Northampton Sand and limestones above 122 m. above OD, but the higher ground in the S. is covered by Boulder Clay, and there are expanses of Upper Lias Clay in the N. and along the valley sides between 122 m. and 90 m. above OD.
Few archaeological remains have been noted in the parish and the main interest lies in the unusual medieval settlement pattern (2–5) (Fig. 41).
Prehistoric and Roman
b(1) Ditches (SP 672535), 400 m. N.W. of Astcote on Northampton Sand at 142 m. above OD. Air photographs (NCAU) show very indistinct traces of a rectangular system of ditches covering about 0.75 hectare. These features may be modern.
For Roman Road 1f, Watling Street, see Appendix.
Medieval and Later
A Saxon sceatta was found in 1950 at Eastcote (BM Quarterly, 15 (1952), 54; Brit. Num. J., 47 (1977), 39).
(2–5) Settlement Remains (Fig. 41), formerly part of the village of Pattishall and of the hamlets of Astcote, Eastcote and Dalscote, lie in and around the existing settlements. The remains are nowhere extensive but together they emphasise the unusual pattern of settlement in the parish, made up of four discrete units all of which are medieval in origin and two of which, Pattishall and Astcote, are mentioned in Domesday Book (PN Northants., 92–3).
b(2) Settlement Remains (SP 669543), formerly part of Pattishall, lie at the N.W. end of the village, on Northampton Sand at 137 m. above OD. Disturbed earthworks within a single paddock suggest that there were once houses here (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926. 5038–9).
b(3) Settlement Remains (SP 676532), formerly part of Astcote, lie in the centre of the hamlet, on Northampton Sand at 130 m. above OD. Astcote now consists of a single street bending to the E. at its N. end, and with a small triangular green towards the S. end. Between the green and the end of the curving street is a hollow-way some 12 m. wide and up to 2 m. deep, reduced to a single scarp at its N. end. It suggests either that the main street once ran almost N.-S. through the hamlet or that the green was once much larger and extended N. between the hollowway and the existing street. Near the S. end of the hamlet (SP 677530) there was formerly another hollow-way running S.E. from the street and passing into the adjacent ridge-and-furrow. This has been completely destroyed by a housing estate. No trace has been noted of the manor house and chapel recorded by Baker (Hist. of Northants., II (1836–41), 306) as having stood at the S. end of Astcote. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 3038–9; air photographs in NMR)
b(4) Settlement Remains (SP 681538), formerly part of Eastcote, lie around the hamlet, on Northampton Sand and Upper Lias Clay at about 122 m. above OD. Behind the existing houses along the single street are the remains of abandoned closes edged by low banks and ditches; some have ridge-and-furrow within them. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/ 1926, 3038–9, 5037–8; air photographs in NMR)
b(5) Settlement Remains (SP 684541), formerly part of Dalscote, lie around the hamlet, on Boulder Clay and Northampton Sand at 138 m. above OD. Immediately W. of the main through road an area some 50 m. wide is covered by stone-rubble, brick, tiles and post-medieval pottery. The area is the site of a large building shown on a map of 1729 (NRO). Further buildings also shown on the map to the N. of the present farm are marked by low indeterminate earthworks. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 3037–8, 5036–7; air photographs in NMR)
b(6) Fishponds (SP 674543), lay immediately E. of Pattishall village, in the bottom of a shallow E.-draining valley, on Upper Lias Clay at 107 m. above OD, but have now been completely destroyed. The ponds are shown correctly on the OS 25 in. map of 1883 (Northants. LI. 10) and still survived in 1947 (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 5037–8). There were three ponds, arranged in a line along the valley bottom. The upper one was a rectangular depression 50 m. by 15 m. and below it was a large roughly triangular pond 100 m. long and 12 m. to 60 m. wide, cut back into the valley side with a massive dam at its E. end. To the E. again was a smaller square pond, 40 m. wide, fed by a tributary stream from the N.W. Nothing is known of the history of these ponds.
(7) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish were enclosed by an Act of Parliament of 1771 (NRO, copy of Enclosure Map). Nothing is known of the arrangement of these fields, and in particular it is not clear whether each of the separate medieval settlements in the parish had its own field system.
Ridge-and-furrow of these fields survives on the ground or can be traced on air photographs over most of the parish, except N. and N.E. of the village where the light Northampton Sands have been ploughed or worked for ironstone. Elsewhere a complex pattern of end-on and interlocked furlongs is visible mainly arranged to run at right angles to the contours, especially along the three small N. and N.E.-flowing streams in the N. of the parish. There are examples of over-ploughed headlands between former end-on furlongs (e.g. SP 676548), and in several places there is great variety in the width of ridges within small areas (e.g. SP 674528 and 671533). (RAF VAP CPE/UK/ 1926, 3035–41, 5034–41; CPE/UK/1994, 2168–71, 3162–6. 4173–4; 3G TUD/UK/118, 6032–4; FSL6603, 2379–83, 2400– 4)