Pages 398-399

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 5, Archaeology and Churches in Northampton. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1985.

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(OS 1:10000 aSP 76 NE, bSP 76 SE, cSP 86 NW, dSP 86 Sw)

The greater part of the parish of Overstone lies outside Northampton (see RCHM Northamptonshire II, 120–3) but a small area in its S.E. corner, covering only about 80 hectares, is now incorporated in the borough. It consists of land sloping W. to a S.-flowing stream, between 115 m. and 75 m. above OD, mainly on Northampton Sands but with Upper Lias Clay exposed close to the stream and a small patch of limestone, silts and clays of the Estuarine Series in the W. corner.

Prehistoric and Roman

The rectangular enclosure said to be visible on air photographs (c. SP 799646; Bnfas 5 (1971), 40; FSL 6565, 1947) appears to be a misinterpretation of two parallel headlands of the medieval fields of Overstone. A worked flint has been discovered at SP 80556464 (Bnfas 7 (1972), 6; NDC P127).

ab(1) Prehistoric Settlement (?) (c. SP 798650), on Northampton Sands, at 84 m. above OD. Worked flints, including three scrapers, were found in the area before 1971 (Bnfas 5 (1971), 4). Others, as well as a leaf-shaped arrowhead, were discovered during building development some years later (Northamptonshire Archaeol 12 (1977), 209; NDC P27).

b(2) Roman Settlement (c. SP 804646), S.E. of South Lodge, on Upper Estuarine deposits at 115 m. above OD. Vague cropmarks, suggesting former enclosures, were recorded in the area and Roman material from the 1st-4th centuries were discovered between 1963 and 1971. Limited excavations took place in 1972 and uncovered evidence of a small Roman farmstead. A few worked flints and fragments of residual Iron Age pottery were found, but the first structural phase, dated to the late 1st to mid 3rd century, consisted of a circular timber structure or hut subsequently rebuilt, associated with ditches or gullies. Towards the end of the 3rd century the existing building complex was replaced by adjoining circular and rectanglar structures with stone foundations and associated with a paved yard. A metalled surface was discovered to the E. during trial trenching (SP 80526477; NDC R97). Enclosures discovered to the S. (c. SP 805644) and dated to the 1st-2nd centuries AD may be part of the same farm complex (Great Billing (11)).

Finds included 14 coins ranging from Augusta (10–13 BC) to Arcadius (AD 395–402), bronze brooches and numerous small iron and bronze objects. The site has been fully published (Williams 1976; see also Britannia 4 (1973), 294; Bnfas 7 (1972), 6; 8 (1973), 14; CBA Group 9 Newsletter 3 (1973), 29).