|Fieldwork Reports: December 2002|
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The following reports on recent archaeological fieldwork undertaken in Northamptonshire were published by NCC's Historic Environment Team (Northamptonshire Heritage) on 7 January 2003.
The reports have been passed to the Northamptonshire Sites and Monuments Record and will be entered into the SMR database system.
NGR SP 565 651
A watching brief was undertaken during groundworks for a residential development on land at Middlemore Farm. A small area south of the farm was stripped and revealed a series of Roman features, including pits and a possible rectilinear enclosure gully. The pottery retrieved from the features suggested a late first to early second century date.
18-24 QUEEN STREET, GEDDINGTON
NGR SP 89235 82795
R. J. Ivens
Although a desk-based assessment suggested that there was Iron Age, Romano-British and medieval use of the southern part of Geddington, post-medieval map evidence suggested that Queen Street was extensively occupied from at least the later eighteenth century. No surviving archaeological deposits were found in the trenches, but this may have been due to substantial modern truncation as the site had been used as a garage and petrol station.
HARLESTON QUARRY, NORTHAMPTON
NGR SP 708 635
A previous desk-based assessment had suggested that although the area of the quarry extension was situated within an extensive prehistoric landscape, it was outside the areas of greatest significance. The watching brief was maintained during topsoil stripping of the extension to the existing quarry. No archaeological deposits were revealed.
BARTON SEAGRAVE MOATS, KETTERING
NGR SP 8859 7693
A trench to locate a water main was excavated within the site of a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM No. 13630), which comprises of two medieval moated enclosures, fishponds and associated earthworks. The trench revealed the outer, eastern edge of the southern moat. A single, residual piece of 13th ?14th century Lyveden/Stanion ware was recovered from the latest phase of silting.
BRACKMILLS LINK ROAD,
NGR SP 7723 5737
Area Excavation & Watching Brief
An open area excavation was undertaken on the summit of the Hunsbury Ridge, as the proposed road route affected the environs of an early Bronze Age round barrow. The barrow itself lay beyond the road corridor, but an unurned satellite cremation burial was located, lying approximately 27m from the barrow. A subsequent watching brief was maintained during the initial removal of topsoil and subsoil along the entire length of the route but no further features were recorded.
NGR SP 771 561
Geophysical Survey & Evaluation
The geophysical survey recorded anomalies that indicated significant archaeological features concentrated in the southwest corner of the study area. Evidence for medieval ridge and furrow cultivation was also detected. The subsequent evaluation confirmed the presence of ridge and furrow across the site. Although archaeological evidence across the area was generally sparse, with a few gullies and pits, a distinct area of activity was identified in the southwest corner as suggested by the geophysics. A complex of ditches, gullies and pits produced evidence of a Roman agricultural landscape dating to the 2nd to 3rd centuries.
NGR TL 0391 8816
Desk-Based Assessment & Evaluation
Some difficulty was encountered in the desk-based assessment in determining the history of, and likelihood of significant remains being present on, the site. This was due to the fact that the preservation of the historic core of Oundle has limited development opportunities and, consequently, archaeological investigation. Documentary evidence suggests that Oundle was of importance in the centuries preceding the Norman Conquest, and subsequently flourished as a local market and centre. It was postulated that the site might have contained evidence for the establishment and development of the town. The evaluation, however, revealed no significant pre-modern deposits.
PITSFORD QUARRY, PITSFORD
NGR SP 760 669
Area excavation (Assessment and updated project designs for Stages 1 & 2)
The monitoring of the first two phases of topsoil stripping has taken place in advance of quarrying in Bottom Sheep Dale Field. An archaeological recording action of the two hectares identified late middle Iron Age settlement remains across the area, comprising enclosures and ring gullies. A pit alignment, consisting of 54 pits, was undated but stratigraphically earlier than some of the Iron Age enclosures. The settlement and the pit alignment appear to extend southwards, beyond the present area of excavation, and will be investigated during further stripping.
78 HIGH STREET, RAUNDS
NGR SP 9994 7315
Two trenches were excavated at the former abattoir site in Raunds. A late medieval pit and a large undated ditch were found in the west trench. No archaeological deposits had survived in the eastern trench due to grading of the yard area and insertion of a culverted drain.
AMEN CORNER, MOAT LANE, TOWCESTER
NGR SP 6938 4871
Desk-Based Assessment & Evaluation
Thames Valley Archaeological Services
The location of the site suggested that there was the possibility of the presence of remains relating to a variety of periods, principally Roman and late Saxon to medieval. Map evidence suggested that the site was vacant from at least 1806 until 1957, by when a probable store appears to have been erected.
The evaluation revealed a series of Roman and medieval features, 1.3m below current ground level, preserved beneath a 19th/20th century buried soil. The Roman features, all pits, were, despite a paucity of finds, early in date. Four further pits and a gully were medieval.
VALLEY ROAD, WESTON BY WELLAND
NGR SP 7779 9141
Desk-Based Assessment & Evaluation
Archaeological Project Services
Structural remains of medieval and post-medieval date were recorded. To the east of the site, a 13th century stone building was found with associated external cobbled surface. Evidence was recovered that the building had a Collyweston slate roof with glazed ridge tiles. This implies that it was of a high status and may have been related to the manor situated to the immediate north of the site and identified through earthwork remains. It is also possible that the building was a dovecote, referred to in a late 18th century fieldname for the site (Dove House Close). A probable late medieval building was identified in the western part of the site. This structure appeared to have survived into the 19th century as part of a row of townhouses, although its original extent, form and function were not established. A group of decorated floor tiles may have been associated with this structure, indicating that it too was probably of high status and related to the manor. Artefacts included a 13th to 17th century copper alloy buckle.
NGR SP 9235 8970
A watching brief was maintained during the excavation of footings trenches during the groundworks for the construction of eight flats. It was evident that the ground level had previously been reduced to the level of the underlying geology, probably in relation to the building that formerly occupied the site. No archaeological features were observed.
DANDO CLOSE, WOLLASTON
NGR SP 9093 6244
A evaluation was undertaken on land adjacent to Dando Close prior to a second phase of development. A quarry pit was the only feature identified during the evaluation, similar to ones found during the excavation of the first phase area, and was likely to be post-medieval in date.