Volume 40 (2019)
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Introduction: past, present and future
[pp 1 - 4]
The Brumut Hills: two Neolithic long barrows near Flore
Two Neolithic long barrows of the Cotswold-Severn type were confirmed by geophysical and trial trench investigation, supported by fieldwalking, to the north of Flore, Northamptonshire. Each long barrow comprises substantial parallel ditches cut into the natural limestone rock. The ditch fills indicate that material extracted from these paired ditches was used to raise long mounds between them and possibly to form stone revetments. The sequence within the ditch fills shows the abandonment, the degradation of the limestone mound and gradual silting of the ditches. Within the deposits were faunal remains, which included an aurochs, pottery sherds and plant macrofossils that provided a source for dating the process of deposition. Radiocarbon dates suggest that the southern long barrow was built earlier in the Neolithic than its northern counterpart and that the process of ditch silting continued into the Middle Bronze Age; after which the ditches were no longer visible at ground level as earthworks. Small to moderate collections of both pottery and flint were recovered and have helped to date their use and disuse. The remnant mounds were eventually ploughed out, and furrows crossing the top of the former long barrows derived from medieval and early post-medieval agriculture prior to the Enclosure Act of 1779.
[pp 5 - 31]
Flint deposition in the vicinity of the Dallington Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure, Northampton
A Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age pit alignment at Dallington Gateway, Northampton, lay in close proximity to the known Dallington Neolithic causewayed enclosure. The fills of the pits in the pit alignment, and some other features, produced quantities of residual worked flint in excess of the quantity recovered from a pit alignment at Harlestone Quarry, a further kilometre distant from the causewayed enclosure. It is suggested that the presence of this flint concentration in the immediate vicinity of the causewayed enclosure defines a zone around the monument that was a focus for contemporary occupation probably during periods when people had travelled to the area to take part in activities centred on the enclosure, following the widespread interpretation of causewayed enclosures as regional centres for seasonal gatherings. A comparison is made to a possible comparable zone defined by flint scatters found at Northampton and Duston, perhaps focussed on a preferred area for occupation close to both the River Nene and the Briar Hill causewayed enclosure. There may also have been a similar zone around the Cardington causewayed enclosure, on the outskirts of Bedford.
[pp 33 - 45]
Early Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon landscapes at Apex Park, Daventry
Simon Marcus and Stephen Morris
MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) investigated a multi-period site at Apex Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire. The earliest feature comprised a segmented circular enclosure, 25m in diameter, subsequently recut as an almost continuous ring with a narrow eastern entrance. It produced no artefacts but the recut is radiocarbon dated towards the end of the Early Bronze Age. A large polygonal enclosure and a rectilinear field system probable date to the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age and a pit alignment respected and terminated adjacent to the enclosure. On lower land to the north a Middle Iron Age open settlement, c.450-250 BC, a small family farmstead, comprised at least two and possibly four roundhouse ring ditches, several four-post structures and both smaller pits and some larger storage pits set beside a linear boundary ditch with a transverse boundary to the south. There was a possible Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured building.
[pp 47 - 75]
later prehistoric landscape at Sandy Lane, Northampton
Nicky Garland, Peter Banks and Daniel Stansbie
A programme of archaeological investigation was undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology in 2010 at Sandy Lane Improvement North, north-west of Northampton. A total area of 3.6ha was excavated across seven areas. Archaeological remains were confined to the northern and central parts of the site, with settlement mostly concentrated on an area of the Northampton sands either side of the Dallington Brook, which bisected the site. The excavated archaeology comprised a small oval enclosure of possible domestic or funerary character with associated pits and postholes, both radiocarbon dated to the Early/Middle Bronze Age. A Middle Bronze Age cremation burial was associated with a small group of pits at the northern end of the route. A Late Bronze Age settlement comprised two probable roundhouses, associated with two groups of pits, which produced evidence for craft production, including fired-clay loomweights and a perforated stone disc. In addition, a short length of a later prehistoric pit alignment was cut by a trackway of Middle to Late Iron Age date, which was associated with enclosure boundary ditches and pits. There were also Middle Iron Age four-post structures. A later prehistoric boundary ditch towards the southern end of the route may have been contemporary with the Middle to Late Iron Age activity. Medieval and post-medieval features included ridge and furrow, boundary ditches and pits.
[pp 77 - 86]
Early and Middle Iron Age settlement at Glinton, Peterborough
Gareth Rees and Matt Brudenell
Archaeological excavations at Glinton revealed significant remains dating to the Early and Middle Iron Age, offering new insights into the character of occupation in the vicinity. The site lies on relatively high ground, inland from the Welland Valley and at some distance from the well-studied environs of the lower Nene Valley and the Flag Fen Basin. Early Iron Age settlement comprised unenclosed pits and postholes, two identifiable structures and large waterholes that yielded substantial assemblages of pottery and animal bone. In the Middle Iron Age a long boundary ditch was supplemented by a small enclosure of domestic or agricultural function. This paper considers the extent to which the new findings are characteristic of settlement in the wider Peterborough region.
[pp 87 - 105]
A Late Iron Age trackway and settlement south of Towcester Road, Old Stratford
MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) carried out an open area excavation on land south of Towcester Road, Old Stratford. A Late Iron Age complex, dating to the 1st century BC to early 1st century AD, comprised a length of trackway flanked by minor domestic settlement. The trackway was later partially blocked, perhaps the creation of a stock control feature, with a new domestic focus immediately adjacent. The trackway eventually fell out of use, although some of the existing boundaries were respected by new boundary ditches, perhaps denoting a shift from pastoral to arable farming. Domestic activity ceased in the early to mid-1st century AD, prior to the arrival of Roman pottery forms. It is suggested that the trackway and the associated domestic settlement was part of a larger Late Iron Age estate. The tight dating is based on a relatively large assemblage of diagnostic Late Iron Age pottery. A few crucible fragments indicate that bronze casting was also practiced.
[pp 107 - 117]
Late Iron Age and early Roman settlement at School Lane, Hartwell
Claire Finn, Andy Chapman, James Burke and Charlotte Walker Archaeological excavation was carried out by Northamptonshire Archaeology (now MOLA Northampton) in 2010-11 on an area of late Iron Age to early Roman settlement, occupied for a short period around the late 1st century BC to the middle 1st century AD, with abandonment shortly after the Conquest. Arcs of deep curvilinear ditch apparently formed facades to two enclosures but with no surviving features to define the remainder of the circuits. Behind these facades were some subsidiary linear and curvilinear gullies, and a few pits. The features produced a small assemblage of late Iron Age hand-built wares and a larger group of wheel-finished vessels dating to the early to mid-1st century AD, largely dumped in the upper fills of the enclosure ditches, apparently part of an episode of site clearance at abandonment. The deposition of two complete upper stones from rotary querns may relate to the abandonment of Iron Age customs and the adoption of a Romanised lifestyle at a new location. The environmental evidence suggests that this was probably a pastoral settlement, perhaps seasonal, with the surrounding landscape a mixture of grass and woodland, and perhaps subsidiary to a main settlement.
[pp 119 - 144]
Barton Seagrave moated manorial enclosure and other moated enclosures in central and northern Northamptonshire
Dale Munn Barton Seagrave is an outstanding example of a moated medieval manor house with associated fishponds, dams, sluices and supply and drainage channels. Previous finds together with documentary records date the site to the early 14th century but there has been only limited survey and excavation. The medieval village of Barton Seagrave is of uncertain size and location and its relationship to the manor site is unclear. This study has established the form and function of the manorial site, the probable location and extent of the medieval village in the early 14th century and its relationship to the manor. The relative importance of defence, status and topographical factors in locating the manorial site are discussed through research of existing literature and on-site research. Similar factors are considered for eight other similar sites in central and north Northamptonshire to establish the extent to which Barton Seagrave was typical in form and function of manorial sites in the study area.
[pp 145 - 167]
A medieval road and buildings at Harbidges Lane, Long Buckby
MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) undertook an archaeological excavation on land to the west of Harbidges Lane, Long Buckby, Northamptonshire. The site fronted onto the northern side of the postulated former Coventry to Northampton road. In the eastern half of the site occupation comprised a plot bounded by ditches enclosing two timber buildings dated to the 11th century. On the western side were a series of probable contemporary enclosed plots/fields. The timber buildings were replaced in the mid to late 13th century by two stone buildings along either side of a metalled track, which presumably joined the Northampton road. A ditched boundary on the east side of the site, which ran parallel with the road, was later replaced by a stone wall. These features had lasted for around a century when the site was abandoned in the mid/late 14th century and reverted to agricultural use until the present day.
[pp 169 - 186]
Late medieval and post-medieval roadside settlement at School Lane, Hartwell
Remains of a small late medieval stone building of the 14th-16th centuries were probably part of a lost dispersed settlement alongside a hollow-way, as shown on a map of 1727 and as recorded in survey by the Royal Commission (RCHME) in the 1970s.
[pp 187 - 194]
Roman farmstead at Walnut Tree Farm, Yarwell: An interim report
[pp 195 - 199]
Portable Antiquities Scheme in Northamptonshire 2017
[pp 201 - 203]
[pp 205 - 208]
Archaeology in Northamptonshire 2017
Compiled by Yvonne Wolframm-Murray
[pp 209 - 215]