Pages xxi-xxii

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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This Inventory of the earthworks of Northamptonshire covers parishes in the south-western part of the county. In it the policy regarding content and scope largely follows that of earlier Inventories.

Apart from Roman Roads (Appendix), the monuments are listed in the following order, under the names of the Civil Parishes in which they lie:

(1) Prehistoric and Roman Monuments

(2) Medieval and Later Earthworks

(3) Undated Earthworks, etc.

Each parish entry has a short introductory note, summarizing the physical topography, major monuments and history.

National Grid references are given for all monuments; a map of the whole area is in the pocket inside the back cover. A superior letter before a monument number refers to the sheet number in the OS 1:10000 map series, as listed at the head of the parish.

The entries in the Inventory are necessarily much compressed and where a site has been adequately described elsewhere few details are given and the reader is directed to the relevant publication.

Many of the plans included in the text have been prepared from air-photographic evidence. Every attempt has been made to avoid inaccuracy, but a number of drawings showing crop or soil-marks have been plotted from oblique air photographs only and therefore the locations shown may in some cases differ slightly from the actual, although general comparative sizes are correct. Furthermore, crop and soil conditions prevailing when the air photographs were taken have sometimes made interpretation difficult. Only those features considered as being archaeologically significant have been included in the illustrations. No attempt has been made to show the correct widths of ditches. Pit alignments and other arrangements of pits are shown conventionally; the precise number of pits, and variations in their size and shape, have not been reproduced.

The present locations of finds are, if known, indicated in the Inventory. Chance finds which are unrelated to monuments have not been included except when their importance warrants it or when it is likely that one of the monuments described in the Inventory was their provenance.

Roman roads in the area are described together in an Appendix, and are identified by the numbers given to them by I. D. Margary in Roman Roads in Britain, 3rd ed. (1973).

All earthworks listed in the Inventory have been inspected by our Investigator, and those which are of major importance, or have proved difficult of analysis, have been re-examined on a number of occasions. Some monuments have been destroyed since their investigation, but these have been included in the Inventory. Most of the recording was carried out in 1977–78 and alterations to the monuments occurring since 1979 have not been described.

The Addenda comprise lists of those sites and finds which have come to light in those parts of the county covered by the previous Inventories since their publication, but no material found after 1979 has been included.

Work of this nature can seldom escape the inclusion of some errors, but it is believed that those in this survey are neither numerous nor serious. Any corrections may be sent to the Secretary with a view to their inclusion in the National Monuments Record.

The present rate both of destruction and of discovery of monuments renders unlikely the finality of any inventory, particularly with regard to prehistoric and Roman remains. New sites discovered since the publication of Volumes I to III of the Inventory, together with new information about known sites, are listed in the Addenda to the present volume (p. 184). The four Inventories, Volumes I to IV, thus provide a complete account of all known archaeological sites and finds recorded before the end of 1979. Volume V, the City of Northampton, will be published at a later date.